Hisar villagers boycott polls over water woes | chandigarh | Hindustan Times
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Hisar villagers boycott polls over water woes

chandigarh Updated: Oct 15, 2014 22:59 IST
Surender Sharma

Residents of Budak village in Adampur assembly segment boycotted the polls citing neglect by the political parties and successive governments, on Wednesday.

The village, which is about 40 km from Hisar, has about 2,200 voters and not a single vote was polled at the two booths set up there.

The villagers have been sitting on a dharna for the past fifteen days and have not allowed any candidate to enter the village for campaigning, alleging that politicians had been failing them for years.

The administration tried to pacify them last week, but to no avail.

Though the canal supply has been full for the past three days, villagers claim it was a ploy to get them to vote.

“We want long term measures in place. Water distribution should be equal in the village,” said villager Umed Singh.

Ran Singh, a retired BSF personnel from the village told HT, “Not even a single villager has voted today. It shows the anguish among people here. I hope villagers’ cry reaches the higher authorities in the government.”
A villager had alleged that they were buying water at `800 per tanker from Rajasthan for years as canal supply was irregular and ground water was saline. They claimed that tankers were bought once a week from Sidmukh Canal, around 5km away from a village in Rajasthan.
Budak is Haryana’s last village on this route, barely a kilometre from the Rajasthan border. They also complained that 6,000 acre of land had dried up due to irregular rains and erratic water supply from Balsamand Main Canal.
Virender Poonia, a villager said, “The polls are over. We successfully boycotted it. But, five people who are on a hunger strike will continue with it.”
A person from Adampur had come to cast his vote, but we convinced him otherwise, he said.
Villagers also claimed that water problem had been worsening every year for the past 15 years.
HJC chief Kuldeep Bishnoi — son of former chief minister Bhajan Lal, INLD’s Kulbir Singh Beniwal, Congress’ Satinder Singh, and Karan Singh Ranolia of the BJP are in the fray in Adampur, under which this segment falls.
Hisar SDM Ashok Kumar Bansal, under whose jurisdiction Budak falls, confirmed there was zero polling. "We have had several rounds of meetings with the villagers in the past few days. But they are not ready to listen. We also tried to persuade them today. But they did not budge," said Bansal.

Chief electoral officer Shrikant Walgad said he was not aware of the matter. “I am sure local administration would have tried to persuade them. If they are adamant, what can the administration do,” retorted Walgad.