Villagers bereft of roads, threaten to boycott polls

Bolangir/Ganjam: Fed up with false promises, people of two villages in Odisha have threatened to boycott the upcoming polls. The residents of Beherenasilet village under Tureikela block in Bolangir and Nua Golabandha village under Gopalpur constituency of Ganjam district have decided to boycott the polls as a mark of protest against the government’s apathy in ensuring proper road connectivity and other infrastructure.

According to sources nearly 1500 people at Behernasilet village in Bolangir are facing lot of hardship due to lack of motorable roads to the village. Though political leaders had made tall claims of developments before elections in the past, they did not visit the area after the last polls, alleged the villagers.

“Our life is miserable due to lack of accessible road to the village. We face a lot of difficulty to take pregnant women as well as other patients to hospital,” rued a local Bada Naga.

“If a road is not constructed at the earliest, we will not vote in the upcoming elections,” alleged another local Suresh Naga.

On the other hand, the people of Nua Golabandha village in Ganjam have also decided to stay away from the poll process. The villagers alleged that they will have to travel at least 5 kms to exercise their franchise as the polling booth has been relocated this time.

As there is no proper road connectivity from the village to reach the polling booth set up by the Election Commission, the locals are demanding the polling booth to be set up in the village school, failing to which they will not cast their votes.

“As there is problem of road, it will difficult for the elderly people to cast their votes at the new polling booth,” alleged a local, Damburu Behera.

“We request the Election Commission to set up a polling booth in the village or else we would boycott the upcoming general election,” said Naib Sarpanch, K. Madheya.