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After seven years of being under judicial scanner over the drug menace case, the Punjab government will likely make the Special Task Force (STF) report on the Rs 6,000-crore synthetic drug case public.

Punjab Home Minister Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa, once again taking a jibe at former CM said that "Captain Amarinder Singh kept the report in the envelope for 4.5 years. Now, this will be made public soon."

The major development comes after Punjab and Haryana High Court on Monday rapped the state government and clarified that they did not stop the administration from taking action against the defendants in the synthetic drug case. The court also voiced displeasure with the state government's inaction, questioning why it was delaying action against the defendants.

The court's furious statement came as Lawyers for Human Rights International's Navkiran Singh claimed that no significant action had been taken in the case since May 2018. He stated that the High Court had not imposed a stay in the case, yet, no action had been taken.

The court will resume hearings on Thursday, December 9, and the STF report is expected to be released the same day.

Impact on Punjab politics

The state assembly elections are nearing. If the STF report is made public, the electoral landscape of Punjab will probably take a 180 degree turn.

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The STF’s report and drug menace have remained one of the key issues in Punjab. With elections approaching and unprecedented change in guard, the ruling Congress has been under high pressure to act over the issue. PPCC chief Navjot Singh Sidhu is also seen targeting his own government over the matter, inflicting major damage to the party’s image ahead of polls.

If sources are to be believed, the STF report contains several high profile individuals and the Channi government will try to punish all defendants in accordance with the law.

At the same time, the grand old party will get a chance to justify its decision of ousting Captain Amarinder Singh and making Charanjit Channi the new Chief Minister. 

With a leg up on Captain Amarinder's Punjab Lok Congress and its alliance with BJP and Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa’s outfit, the Channi government will likely claim credit for making the report public and blame the former CM for keeping it under covers for 4.5 years.

According to analysis, the release of the STF drug menace report will be a “win” situation of Congress in Punjab.

SAD could face significant difficulties as a result of the development.

Congress leader Navjot Sidhu has been relentless in his attacks on senior Shiromani Akali Dal leader and former Punjab Cabinet minister Bikram Singh Majithia as tensions over the case have grown. According to Sidhu, the STF reports contain the names of Majithia and other Akali Dal leaders, so Capt Amarinder concealed the report in an envelope.

Meanwhile, Majithia filed an application with Punjab and Haryana High Court to be impleaded as respondent in the Punjab drugs case. The SAD leader through his counsel- senior advocate argued that there has been a definite malicious agenda by political opponents to target him under the pretext of public interest.

In the application, Majithia also claims that Deputy Chief Minister and Home Minister Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa, as well as PPCC chief Navjot Singh Sidhu, have shown intense hatred for him because he is a political rival.

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"Impression has been given time and again that the applicant has been insulated from a just investigation process, which is contrary to the truth" the application read. 

"Neither the STF (Drugs) nor the SIT constituted by this court's orders, apparently found any incriminating material against the applicant in the course of an investigation," Majithia contended.

If Majithia's name is found in the STF report, SAD will lose a significant number of votes. Furthermore, several party leaders are expected to switch to the BJP.

Talking about Punjab Lok Congress, Captain Amarinder is poised to benefit from the situation. In Punjab, Capt has confirmed seat-sharing with the BJP.

Meanwhile, with SAD's big setback, AAP will benefit in upcoming polls.

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