SAD MLA Tota Singh may have lost big from his constituency Dharamkot of Moga, but the ‘drug’ village, Daulewala, overwhelmingly voted for the Akali Dal. Notorious for peddling and trading of drugs, the small village, falling in Dharamkot Assembly constituency, polled 1,562 votes of which the highest 712 went to SAD. The Congress candidate, Sukhjit Lohgarh, who defeated Tota by over 20,000 votes, got 557 votes. However, it was Aam Aadmi Party that polled the lowest of 215 votes.
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Of the two polling booths in the village, AAP polled 145 votes at booth 19 and 70 votes at booth 20 totalling 215.
Speaking to The Indian Express, a former sarpanch of the village said, “Our village has been supporting Akalis
since the beginning with most families being staunch Akalis. We were not even expecting AAP to manage these 215 votes also but probably it is some youths, who voted for AAP candidate Daljit Gill. We believe that our former MLA Tota Singh was nowhere at fault when it comes to drug trade in the village. In fact, he made all efforts to reduce the menace. But it is surprising that AAP got 200 votes.”
Queues of customers in luxury cars from across the state and even Chandigarh line up at Daulewala to buy drugs. In
2014, the police installed a board at the village entrance that said Infamous for Drugs (Eh pind nasheyaan layi badnaam hai).
The villagers protested against the defamation and the board was removed, but the tag has stuck. Police have registered 45 FIRs for drugs in this village in 2014; 34 in 2015 and 10 in 2016. In police stations outside the area, 68 people from Daulewala were booked in 2014, 27 in 2015 and nine in 2016.
The current sarpanch, also from SAD, Nirmal Singh, is lodged in Faridkot jail and booked in five NDPS cases for smuggling poppy husk.
The Indian Express on its visit to the village during campaigning saw used syringes lying in front of homes, shops, in garbage heaps and on streets leading to interiors.
In April 2016, Punjab DGP Suresh Arora personally visited the village to ‘motivate’ youths to shun drugs.
He also promised that youths of Daulewala would be given preference in the recruitment of constables but as per applicants from the village, they were not given any preference during trials and got rejected.