To keep voters in ‘high spirits’, the BJP and Congress in Marwar region are wooing people with Opium milk and Opium husk, popularly known as ‘Amal’ and ‘Doda Posht’ respectively. If voted to power, the parties are promising uninterrupted supply of addictive substances .
In fact, former BJP leader Jaswant Singh had included the issue of ‘ Doda Posht’ in his manifesto, promising abolition of its contract system, to ensure proper implementation of new permit raj on the lines of public distribution system. Other issues in the manifesto such as development of the region through industrialization and education, has lost their appeal and opium is the major highlight of electoral promises for all political parties.
Singh, in one his rallies asked the supporters to consume ‘Doda’ on time so they can come and vote in large numbers on April 17. Local BJP leaders are convinced that continuous supply of ‘Amal’ or ‘Doda’ is required to lure voters to polling centers. Recently, BJP candidate from Barmer Col Sonaram Chaudhary had raised the issue of increasing quota of ‘Doda’ for the addicts in the region.
According to a Senior Police officer, there are 2800 opium license holders in the area. They are entitled to access the substance legally. However, there are over 2 Lakh addicts, completely dependent on illegal supply of opium.
“Chittorgarh, Jalore and Kota are the main centres of opium cultivation. This is an addiction which is passed down through generations as a family legacy. In fact, the older generations encourage their young to consume opium, which may come as a shock to the outsiders,” he added.
According to District Excise Officer (DEO) Mohan Lal, government has not issued licenses since 2001, following an international treaty on drug de-addiction. He said that Churu, Pali, Barmer, Jalore,Jodhpur and Bikaner Parliament constituencies witness the maximum maximum consumption of ‘Doda’.
“There is shortage of ‘Doda’ due to huge demand during the election time. However, the new crop will be available in the market shortly,” Mohan Lal said.