Monday, June, 17,2024

Frustrated by government apathy 1000 villagers of Dabjor in Balangir boycotted elections on Monday

Balangir: Around 1,000 villagers from Dabjor village in the Balangir constituency in the state of Odisha boycotted the Lok Sabha elections of 2024 over their demand for schools and hospitals, on Monday.
The estimated number of voters in the village was 1071, which included 561 male voters and 510 female voters. As per the reports, the polling personnel sealed all the EVMs and VVPATs at polling booths at around 2 pm, as nobody came to cast their vote.
The incident took place at Dabjor village under Karam Tala Gram Panchayat in Titlagarh Assembly Constituency, which comes under Balangir Lok Sabha Constituency in Odisha.
Speaking with ANI, booth 15 Presiding Officer Runu Meher conveyed that villagers have boycotted the elections as, after waiting for hours, nobody came to cast their vote.
"While conducting the mock poll at 5.45 am, we noticed the absence of voters and poll agents. We waited for hours but neither the poll agent nor the voters arrived to cast their votes. As a result, we had to seal all the EVMs and VVPATs at 2 pm. We think they have boycotted the election over their demands of schools and hospitals," said the Presiding Officer.
One of the residents and voters of the village, Debashish Patra, highlighted the reasons for boycotting the elections. He conveyed the numerous problems and hardships faced by the villagers due to the lack of essential infrastructure, schools, hospitals, and panchayats.
"Nine months ago, we complained to the district administration about the challenges we face, but no one has come to address them. Our Panchayat is located in a different village, 18 kilometres away. The government promotes the 'Beti Bachao Beti Padhao' scheme, but do they consider the same daughter who has to cycle 18 kilometres daily to attend school? Senior citizens have to travel 18 kilometres to collect their pensions. We have to travel for rations, and the cost of the journey often exceeds the value of the ration itself. We urge the government to solve our problems first; only then will we vote," said Debashish Patra.
Another resident, Vedvyas Patra, from the village also complained about the ignorance villagers faced from the District Collector Office and Block Office. He stated the hardships they face due to the absence of roads, high schools, panchayat and hospitals.
Reportedly, after the incident, the collector of the district urged the villagers to vote but they refused until their demands were accepted.
The assembly and Lok Sabha elections in Odisha are taking place simultaneously. The elections are being held in four phases, from May 13 to June 1.
On Monday morning, voting began across 35 Assembly seats and 5 Lok Sabha constituencies in Odisha amid tight security and arrangements.
Elections on 42 assembly segments and six Lok Sabha seats will be conducted on May 25, while elections on the remaining 42 assembly seats and six Lok Sabha seats will go for voting in the last phase on June 1.
The counting of votes will be held on June 4.
In the last assembly elections in 2019, the BJD won 112 out of 146 seats. BJP won 23 seats and Congress got nine seats.
In the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, the BJD mopped up the lion's share of the electoral spoils, with the BJP and the Congress bringing up the rear. The BJD won 12 seats, the BJP finished a close second at 8, and the Congress bagged just a lone seat.

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