The residents of Chandouki village under Phulpur tehsil have given a clear message to politicians visiting the area to seek votes – ‘Road nahi to vote nahi’ (no road, no vote).
Over 1,100 voters in the village have decided not to cast votes in assembly election this time.
The villagers had refrained from exercising their franchise in 2014 Lok Sabha election. Villagers, however, claim that the district administration forced a few residents to cast their vote.
Village residents have been demanding construction of 2.5 kilometre stretch of road which is in a dilapidated state connecting their village to Phulpur-Soraon main road.
Earlier, the road was constructed through MP Local Area Development fund during the term of Congress MP Ram Pujan Patel in 1996-97.
Irked over the apathy, the residents have put up banners conveying the message that the villagers would not cast their vote if the road was not constructed.
Raj Kumar (41), a farmer who is leading the protest, told HT that the sitting Samajwadi Party (SP) MLA from Phulpur assembly constituency Saeed Anwar had promised during 2012 assembly poll campaign that if elected, he would get the connecting road constructed.
“We extended support to him and he won by a decent margin. However, he has not visited the village since he won the election. I approached him over a dozen times and every time he would write a letter to one official or the other but to no avail,” said Raj Kumar.
Another villager Subhash Chand Bhartiya said if people continued to cast votes without asking questions to public representatives, leaders would not ensure development of the area after being elected.
“We refused to cast votes during the 2014 Lok Sabha election. The district administration tried its best to convince us. Later, two villagers were pressurised to cast their votes. This time not a single vote would be cast,” he said.
During 2014 Lok Sabha election, Chandouki village had a total of 1,111 voters – 612 male and 499 female.
The village has two polling booths, Chandouki and Dahelapur, having 622 and 489 voters respectively.
SP MLA Saeed Ahmed said he had written applications to government departments concerned for construction of road but officials did not perform their duty.
“I should not be punished for the lapse on the part of government officials,” he said.