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‘Power-less’ Barmer villagers warn to boycott Lok Sabha poll

The Modi government’s “tall claims” about 100% electrification has “fallen flat” in bordering Barmer where villagers have announced to boycott the voting in upcoming general election.

Apart from electricity, drinking water is another big problem. People of many villages in the district, who are totally hopeless with the government, have now decided to boycott voting in protest.

Hundreds of affected villagers of Nohadiyala and Same Ka Tala villages under Sheo block in Barmer, had protested outside the collectorate in Barmer on Wednesday. They said they have been getting false promise for the last 70 years, and this time, they will not accept any promise. They announced that they will not cast their votes till their demands are met.

Ganpat Singh, a resident of Nohadiyala village, who was present during the protest, said for the last 70 years they are waiting for basic facilities like electricity and water but of no avail. Villagers are forced to shift to urban areas.

Rajendra Singh Bhiyand, who led the protest, said almost all parties have ruled this area in the last 70 years. Many leaders have represented this constituency but nobody was able to provide the basic amenities to the people. He said it is not only an unfortunate state but an embarrassing situation for a civil society where people have to protest for drinking water and electricity.

Praveen Singh Aagore, another villager, said the pathetic condition can be understood with the fact that people are not ready to choose a groom for their daughters in these villages. He said even relatives have hesitation in staying in these villages. He questioned that without water and electricity who wants to stay. He said: “On one hand the prime minister is claiming complete electrification of all Indian villages, and on the other, there is no one to take note of their voices for thr last 70 years”.

The same problem persists in Kekad and Ogala villages under Sedwa block. And, villagers also have protested over the same issues. They also warned to boycott the voting in upcoming elections. Local resident Jai Prakash said villagers are struggling since long for these basic amenities but nobody listened to them.

He said the villagers are upset with the authorities and politician and they are forced to take the decision of boycotting the polls. He said the situation is so grim that villagers either have to travel for five to six kilometre to fetch drinking water or to pay ₹800-₹1,000 per water tanker. Besides, they also pay ₹5 to ₹10 to charge up the cells of their mobile phones.

Prakash said villagers are now fed up with the fake promises of politicians. They knew that during the election time politician will lure them with tall claims but later, nobody will be there to hear their plea. This time, he said, villagers have decided that they will not cast their votes till their problem are not addressed.

Earlier, during the last assembly election, residents of Chohtan town had boycotted the polls in protest against the non-availability of drinking water. Later, official approached the villagers and addressed their problems after which they have cast their votes.

First Published:
Apr 18, 2019 13:06 IST

Article source: https://www.hindustantimes.com/lok-sabha-elections/power-less-barmer-villagers-warn-to-boycott-lok-sabha-poll/story-37O7Ee5I6q3KYPLLnnHP5I.html

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