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Drug problem in India's Punjab looms over crucial state election

Once an economic powerhouse, region has suffered a reversal in fortunes

| India
An drug user lies unconscious by the side of a road in Kapurthala, Punjab, in October 2019: the use of drugs such as heroin among people has become so rampant in the northern Indian state.   © AP

Henny Sender is a managing director at BlackRock in Hong Kong and a former Financial Times correspondent.

Not long ago, the head of one of India's newspaper publishing empires was at a wedding in Chandigarh, the capital of the northwest border state of Punjab. Guests reached out to help themselves to trays full of canapes, flutes of Champagne and platters of various illicit narcotics in the form of unidentified tablets.

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