Villagers Boycott Vote in Odisha's Hinjili, Kandhamal

Voters in a village under Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik's Hinjli Assembly segment in the Ganjam district today boycotted elections protesting lack of development.

Around 560 voters of Chikili village under Sheragada block's Takarada gram panchayat stayed away from voting in protest against the state government's apathy towards development in their village.

An officer on poll duty confirmed that no voting had taken place in booth number. 43 in the village. The village comes under the gram panchayat of BJD's sitting MP Nityananda Pradhan.

"Since the village has no proper connectivity, vehicles like ambulances or Janani Express cannot enter the village. Though we have drawn the administration's attention several times demanding construction of a road, nothing has been done," said a villager on condition of anonymity.

In the Kandhamal district, around 4,200 voters of five booths in the tribal dominated Tumudibandh and Raikia blocks also boycotted the polling exercise protesting official apathy towards their villages.

Voters belonging to booth number 135 (Padunabadi) and 136 (Dindrabadi) in Raikia block, 116 (Barangali), 117 (Bhdrangi) and 129 (Lankagada) in Tumudibandh did not not exercise their franchise, said Kandhamal district collector N Thirumala Naik.

The people of these villages had demanded the construction of a road as the area remains cut-off for four months in a year during monsoons.

Under the banner of Lankagada Bikash Parishad (LBP), villagers have resorted to agitations several times demanding construction of the proposed road under the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY).

"We have to take a detour of around 35 kms via Kalahandi district to reach Tumudibandh block headquarters during the rainy season," said Kansari Patra, a villager in Lankagada.

The 10 km road from Ladaragaon to Lankagada was awarded to a contractor in last November 2008 at an estimated cost of around Rs 6 crore under the PMGSY, but work progressed at snail's pace, the villagers alleged.

Emerging story. Watch this space for updates as more details come in
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