Posters with a headline ‘Road nahi to vote nahi ( No roads no votes)’ can be found at the entrance of Bhartaul village in Auraiya district in Uttar Pradesh. These posters have been put after residents of village decided not to vote for any candidate in the upcoming assembly elections, charging the authorities of neglect and apathy. “The reason behind the call of not giving the vote is that our village Bhartaul is deprived of basic facilities of road,” Deependra Pratap Singh, a villager, told ANI.
“We face a lot of problems because of this and mostly in the rainy days, the situation aggravates,” he added. The villagers also said the absence of a concrete road posed difficulty for students going to schools, especially during rains. Voting in Auraiya is take place in the third phase on February 19.
Sukhram Singh, 75, said the village has been keenly voting for past so many years, but is yet to get a road. “We have given been casting our votes for the candidates who promised us the road, but this time, we would boycott it, because we want the road to be constructed,” he said. “We are totally out of contact from the city, during the rainy season. No doctor or ambulance can come to the village,” added.
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Another resident said “We face uphill task to organise weddings functions in the village; who would want their groom to walk for five-kilometers for the function.” “Every candidate promises us for road, but after winning the elections, they never care to pay heed to us and hence this time we are boycotting them,” he added.
Meanwhile, other villages in Auraiya, like Atta, Karke ka Purva and Gunthi ka Purva are also adopting similar methods to voice their demands for both roads and electricity. In Atta, the villagers have given a written application to boycot the election to the Booth Level Officer (BLO), who came for distribution of electoral rolls to the voters. “I came here for the distribution of electoral rolls, but the villagers said they won’t be accepting it as they have won’t be voting this time,” Kiran Mishra, BLO, said.
The district administration, however, said it is aware of the development in this regard and the officers have been sent to convince the villagers to participate in the polls. “We have got some reports in this regard. Our officers are also talking to them, we would also appeal the villagers to exercise their Right to Vote as this is the democracy,” K. Balaji, the District Magistrate, Auraiya said.