A day after Punjab Governor Banwarilal Purohit warned that he would recommend President's rule for not responding to his queries, Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann on Saturday said he has already replied to nine of the 16 questions.
Mann clarified that the state had taken enough action on the drugs and law and order, the issues raised by the Governor.
"On Friday, the Governor threatened the peace-loving people of Punjab that he would impose President's rule. The governor has raised questions on law and order. Ever since our government came, a lot of work has been done," the Chief Minister told the media here.
"In August alone, 41 kg of heroin was seized. Till now 753 gangsters have been arrested, 786 weapons and vehicles have been seized. Law and order is under complete control.
"I am replying not as a Chief Minister but as a common man on behalf of 3.5 crore Punjabis," Mann said.
"We fought for our freedom. We defended the borders of our country and fed the country with the Green Revolution. We stand with our country on all issues of national interest. However, I want to say that we know how to fight back when suppressed, and history has shown it," he added.
The Governor on Friday issued a stern warning to the Chief Minister, hinting at invoking Article 356 and legal action if unanswered letters persist.
In his latest letter to the Chief Minister, the second this month, Purohit also hit out at Mann for the "breakdown of law and order situation in Punjab" and asked him to send a report concerning action taken by him in the matter of rampant illicit drug trade immediately.
In his letter, Purohit said he had received reports from various agencies regarding rampant availability and abuse of drugs in Punjab. "It is common knowledge that they are available in chemist shops, a new trend is observed that they are being sold in the government-controlled liquor vends. Recent action by the Narcotics Control Bureau and Chandigarh Police has led to sealing of 66 liquor vends in Ludhiana selling drugs," he said.
He pointed to a recent report of the parliamentary standing committee that one in five persons was exposed or addicted to drugs in Punjab.