They have no expectations from the electoral system. So the residents of a few outer Delhi villages decided not to cast their votes.
In village Ladpur, which falls under Karana ward of outer Delhi, the villagers staged a day-long protest outside the polling booth. Not a single villager went inside to vote. They allege that the government hasn’t consolidated their land in the past 104 years, due to which they have been unable to convert their land from agricultural usage to residential.
“The village population has grown by over 200%. And despite high court orders, land consolidation hasn't taken place. We can't build houses on our own land,” said Ranbir Singh, a resident of Ladpur. The predominantly Jat village has more than 5,000 votes.
The women too staged a protest. "For over three decades, our village is waiting for land consolidation. We are all for a vibrant democracy, but it has failed to work for us," said Jagwanti, a resident of Ladpur.
Not too far from Ladpur, another Jat-dominated village Sanoth in Alipur ward refused to cast its votes. The villagers are protesting against a nearby dumping site which has led to their children taking ill.
"Our village used to be the cleanest in the area. After this landfill site shifted here, our kids have started taking ill. Mothers have failed to conceive as the water and air have become polluted. Even newborns are suffering from diseases," alleged Digvijay Singh, a resident of the village.
Their decision of not voting comes after a series of protests and visits to the Mayor, area MLA and MP.
In another village Khera, near Kazipur in Najafgarh, polling booths wore a deserted look as the residents, annoyed with government apathy, boycotted the elections.
(Team HT: Atul Mathur, Sidhartha Roy, Neelam Pandey, Faizan Haider, Mallica Joshi, Hamari Jamatia, Astha Saxena and Rajat Arora)