Bhawanipatna: Voters in six villages of Kalahandi district refrained from exercising their franchise in the first phase elections over various reasons.
The villagers of Tetengpadar village under Narla constituency usually go to booth no-210 at Abujbahal. This time about 300 villagers abstained from casting their votes.
They ascribed to several long standing issues of their village for not exercising the voting rights.
“We have been demanding a repair of our village main road. Few days back, the block administration had taken steps to repair the road. But only a layer of chips have been laid out. Sans a tar layer, walking and riding motorcycles is difficult,” alleged Mandira Suna, a resident of the village.
They also pointed to the construction work of a bridge on Laxmi rivulet that has been lying half constructed since many years. “As the bridge is yet to be completed, we face many issues during rainy season,” they alleged.
The villagers had met the district Collector last September and had submitted a written letter clearly stating their intention to boycott polls if their demands are not met. However, no progress was made on their demands since.
“As the administration did little to solve our problem, we did not use our voting rights,” said another villager.
Even though local Tehsildar Abanaikant Sahu — also the Additional Election Officer for the area — reached the village and tried persuading the villagers to cast their votes, it fell on deaf years.
Similarly, voters of Surli, Supel and Kusumbara villages in Dedar panchayat; and those of Sankriguda village in Charbhati panchayat did not cast their votes Thursday. These villagers were seen staging a demonstration at Supel primary school booth.
Bhejipadar voters under Bhawanipatna constituency too refrained from exercising their voting rights.