The Outsiders | india | Hindustan Times
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The Outsiders

Their heart lies in Uttarakhand, but they vote for UP. Nearly 17 villages on the state border in Kotdwar (known as Bhabhar area), constituting approximately 12,000 voters, do not want to be a part of the former state, thanks to poor development.

india Updated: Jan 26, 2012 00:38 IST
Nihi Sharma Sahani

Their heart lies in Uttarakhand, but they vote for UP. Nearly 17 villages on the state border in Kotdwar (known as Bhabhar area), constituting approximately 12,000 voters, do not want to be a part of the former state, thanks to poor development.

Sushila Devi, 40, a resident of Motadhak gram panchayat, Bijnore in UP said: "We were sacrificed during state formation. We vote for UP, but love Uttarakhand. In fact, we are ailing with UP stigma."

These villages are dependent on Uttarakhand (Kotdwar) for their needs, be it education, hospitals, electricity, water supply or markets. They hate calling themselves 'the UP walas'.

First-time voter Santosh, 20, said: "I am an Uttarakhandi and not a UPwala. A road or rail track cannot divide me from my state. I won't exercise my power of vote, as I don't consider myself to be a native of UP."

Agitated villagers believe that being UPwala is of no use. The state has neither taken any interest in their development, nor provided them any facility.

Sashidhar, a resident of Chatruwala village of Bijnore said: "We are a rejected lot. The UP government isn't concerned about our development. It's only during election that candidates' supporters visit us; the candidates do not come even then."

In 2010, villagers met leader of opposition in Uttarakhand assembly Harak Singh Rawat, on their inclusion in Uttarakhand. The crusade was named Uttarakhand Mission 2010. But nothing was achieved.

The condition of these villages is pathetic. Their domicile is of Uttarakhand and voter card of UP.

Ajit, 30, from Kotdwar grumbled: "We are not eligible to avail of government jobs in Uttarakhand. And we don't want to work in UP. Though our domicile is of Uttarakhand, we are considered outsiders, being the voters of UP."