Over 2,000 villagers in Hazaribag boycott polls

By noon, no votes had been cast at booths 183 and 184, located at Upgraded Middle School, Kusumbha. Polling officials were left waiting for voters….reports Asian Lite News

Over 2,000 voters from Kusumbha village in Jharkhand’s Hazaribag district boycotted the Lok Sabha election on Monday, protesting the unmet demand for a bridge, according to an official.

The boycott occurred in Kusumbha, under Katkamdag police station, approximately 105km from Ranchi, the state capital. Kusumbha is part of the Hazaribag Lok Sabha constituency, PTI news agency reported.

By noon, no votes had been cast at booths 183 and 184, located at Upgraded Middle School, Kusumbha. Polling officials were left waiting for voters.

“I have been here since 7 am, but no one has come to vote yet,” PTI quoted Subodh Prasad Verma, the presiding officer of booth 184, which has 920 registered voters, as saying. “We will wait until 5 pm. We hope the voters will eventually come,” he added.

Hazaribag deputy commissioner Nancy Sahay informed PTI, “Voters at two polling stations in Kusumbha have boycotted the election. Upon receiving the information, I, along with SP Arvind Kumar, went to the village to persuade them to vote.” However, the villagers remained resolute, insisting they would only vote if their demand for a bridge was met.

Sahay explained that the villagers had been requesting a bridge from NTPC authorities, but NTPC is instead constructing an underpass, which the villagers deem unsuitable for accessing drinking water, essential goods, medical services, and other needs.

The district administration has been in discussions with NTPC for months to address the villagers’ concerns, Sahay added.

A local voter, Nakul Mahto, expressed dissatisfaction with the underpass being built near Banadag railway siding, stating, “We are demanding the construction of a bridge, which NTPC has not fulfilled.”

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