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Odisha Polls Phase-I: Know Why Villagers Boycott Right To Vote In Several Places


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11 April 2019

OMMCOM NEWS


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Kalahandi/Malkangiri: Despite being a part and parcel of democracy (of the people, for the people, by the people) and even though casting vote being their constitutional right, aggrieved villagers of tribal-dominated Kalahandi and Malkangiri districts under the parliamentary constituencies of Kalahandi and Nabarangpur reportedly boycotted exercising their franchise.

Reports reaching here were that of Nagupada under Jaipatna block of Lanjigarh assembly constituency. They had made this decision of boycotting vote 15 days ago. Though the district officials tried to persuade them, it was of no avail.  They had also boycotted the three-tier panchayat polls in 2017.

An old villager of Nagupada reacted, “The main reason is that for the last 20 years we have been apprising the political leaders and administrative officers in writing of nagging problems here but to no avail. Hence, we were bound down to boycott vote during last panchayat elections. Again we boycott casting our votes for the Lok Sabha and Assembly elections. The day a bridge is built over Chhanchanjar river, we will cast our votes. No vote till the bridge is not constructed.”

Another aggrieved villager also reacted, “Till the bridge over Chhanchanjar river isn’t built, we won’t cast our votes. The main reason is the pregnant women are either suffering a lot or dying. The students reading in the high school and Jaipatna College are unable attend classes for four months. Teachers are unable to attend the school here for which our children are also suffering. Hence, it’s our last and final decision not to vote unless and until the much-needed bridge is constructed here.”

On being queried, an election official deployed at Nagupada Project UP School polling booth said, “Till now (11.15 am) no voters have turned up. Here there are total 445 voters. Polling is nil now.”

Along similar lines, villagers of four wards in Talajhapi Panchayat also boycotted the polls demanding a bridge over Indrabati river. The villages are Nikeshjor, Ranipadar, Lanjigarh and Maskaguda.

Another official also confirmed that polling was registered completely zero by the time of news coverage.  

According to further reports, the villagers of Tetengepadar village under Karlamunda block, Supil, Kusumbar and Surali under Dharmagarh block and Bhejipadar village in Junagarh area in Kalahandi district have also boycotted their voting exercise alleging that their leaders are yet to meet their long standing demands.

Similar reports poured down from Sanakaradapali and Badakaradapali villages under Mathili block in Malkangiri district where they boycotted vote protesting long distance of booths.

Also reports from several villages in tribal district Nabarangpur where the voters did not cast their votes for various demand.

Similar reports also reached here from Kantagaon village under Papadahandi block demanding construction of an office for their newly-formed Gram Panchayat. Villagers of Pokhanaguda under Nandahandi block in Nabarangpur district also boycotted vote demanding road to their village.

Also the villagers of Talarangpani, Upararangapani and Kutudi villages along with Narayanpatna in Koraput district reportedly boycotted vote.

Same incident has been reported from Tabarsingh and Limarsingh under Raigarh in Gajapati district. 

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Polling Official, Nagupada Booth, Kalahandi

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Villager, Nagupada

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Villager, Nagupada