No development, no vote: Villagers of Murshidabad | india | Hindustan Times
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No development, no vote: Villagers of Murshidabad

Around 3,000 voters from three villages in Murshidabad are boycotting the assembly elections to protest lack of electricity, poor roads, arsenic poisoning and other such issues. Sagarnil Mukherjee reports.

india Updated: Apr 08, 2011 17:11 IST
Sagarnil Mukherjee

Around 3,000 voters from three villages in Murshidabad are boycotting the assembly elections to protest lack of electricity, poor roads, arsenic poisoning and other such issues.

About 450 voters from Tulshipukur village of Imannagar gram panchayat in Farakka and 2,500 voters of Sripurdanga and Gakunda villages are boycotting the election.

Mustak Hossain, a resident of Tulshipukur, said, “About 22 years ago, the electricity department installed electric poles in our village. But wires haven’t been installed. We don’t have electricity. All local leaders are aware of it. Also, there is no arsenic-free tube-well in our village. The only such tube well is lying damaged for several months.”

Md Shamsurjaman, another villager, said, “Doctors seldom visit the local health centre. It is now a permanent resident of some cattle. The condition of village roads is very poor. We have never seen the local rural body repair the roads.”

The villagers complain that they get to see political leaders only during the election. In protest, they have whitewashed all election graffiti from the wall. Jangipur SDO Enaul Rahaman said, “My officers will talk to the villagers.” On the other hand, voters of Sripurdanga and Gakunda have boycotted the elections because the village roads haven’t been repaired since Independence.

According to Sujit Mondal, resident of Sripurdanga village, “The only road in our village — Badsahi road — hasn’t been repaired since its construction. We suffer both in the rainy and summer seasons. No vehicle enters this village, fearing mud on the roads. As a result we have to walk about

2 km at least, before getting any vehicle for Behrampore or any other town. So this year, 600-odd voters of this village have decided not to cast their votes.”

Amir Ali Biswas, an elderly member of Gakunda village, said, “The road in our village hasn’t been repaired in my lifetime. Our children face great difficulties in rainy season to reach schools and colleges. But no political party has any bothering solve the problem. As a result, this year 2,000 voters from the village will not exercise their voting power.”

Md Alauddin, a resident of same village, said, “This area was under Hariharpara constituency but after delimitation, it now falls under Beldanga. Our old MLA never looked after our problem. So, we are sure the new MLA, too, will follow his path. So, we are boycotting the election.”