Home Dehradun Voters boycott polls at several places in U’khand

Voters boycott polls at several places in U’khand

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By Arun Pratap Singh

Dehradun, 19 Apr: While, on the one hand, a lot of enthusiasm was seen today among the people for voting in the state, on the other hand, voters of several villages in the state announced an election boycott in protest against their demands not having been met for a long time. As a result, some polling booths and stations were seen almost deserted in these villages.  People did not reach the polling booth since morning to cast their votes. At many places, government and administration officials issued appeals urging people to vote. Additional Chief Electoral Officer Vijay Kumar Jogdande said that the election officials have been trying continuously to convince these people for a long time. He observed that not voting is not the solution to any problem.

People of many villages including Arjunpur and Gularbhoj Haripur Jalsay, Kopa Lal Singh, Munsiyari located in Dineshpur and Rudrapur police station area of Udham Singh Nagar district boycotted voting with the slogan ‘No Road, No Vote’. Till 11 a.m., only a few votes were cast out of 12 hundred villagers in Arjunpur. Voters did not also reach polling booths built for five villages across the Baur Reservoir to vote. The voting process went on smoothly since morning in 9 assembly constituencies of Udham Singh Nagar district. However, barring a few areas, long queues were seen at the booths since morning.

At the same time, the people of the villages situated across the Gularbhoj Haripur reservoir also boycotted the voting, raising the slogan of ‘no road, no vote’. District Election Officer Udairaj Singh said that the matter had come to light in both the areas. Teams have been sent to the spot. The CDO was monitoring the entire matter. He also issued an appeal to the public, to come out and exercise their franchise while the government would make efforts to resolve their problems.

Villagers of about seven villages in Gram Panchayat Motidar Kaplani of Mussoorie assembly segment of Tehri Constituency also announced an election boycott. The voters informed that there has been a long pending demand for road construction in this area. But due to the lack of clearance by the Forest Department for road construction, the village road has not been built. The voters said that there is continuous migration from the village; many people have left their village due to lack of roads. But the Forest Department was not paying attention to this, due to which there is huge anger among the people. They asserted that, if there is no road, then there would be no vote. Village head Amar Dev Bhatt stated that there are about 7 villages in Gram Panchayat Moti Dhar Kaplani. The people of villages like Motidar, Patrani, Dong Lohrigarh, etc., did not exercise their voting rights. Only five people had voted since morning.

In Kashipur assembly segment of district Udham Singh Nagar, too, villagers from Kopa Basanta, near Gularbhoj of Gadarpur assembly constituency, across the Haripura reservoir, boycotted voting. The villagers also cited lack of road connectivity as the reason behind the boycott of the polling. People say that their only means of transportation is the boat, by which they go to the market. The condition of the road is such that potholes are formed during the rainy season, and these potholes remain unrepaired round the year.

People also boycotted voting in Tharali. Only 28 percent voting was recorded in Chamoli from 6 a.m. to 12 noon for the Lok Sabha elections. Tharali Assembly segment saw only around 25 percent voting till 1 p.m. The Bheta ward including Devrada of Tharali tehsil boycotted the elections demanding removal of the ward from the Nagar Panchayat. Not a single vote was cast at the Deorada booth even for half a day. At the same time, in Dewal’s Balan and Pinau, the villagers are adamant on boycotting the Lok Sabha elections demanding a road.

Voting was boycotted in 3 villages of district Pithoragarh. Voting was completely boycotted at Kvitar, Jamtari and Kwarban booths of Pithoragarh Assembly constituency. There are 720 voters in all three polling stations. The villagers have been demanding road for a long time.

In booth number 80 of Gangolihat Assembly constituency, villagers boycotted voting in Government Primary School, Bankot. The villagers of the area have been demanding inclusion of Bankot area in Bageshwar district for a long time.