Lok Sabha election: Over 1000 villagers boycott Phase 5 polling in Odisha | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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Lok Sabha election: Over 1000 villagers boycott Phase 5 polling in Odisha

By | Written by Lingamgunta Nirmitha Rao
May 21, 2024 03:30 PM IST

The incident occurred in Dabjor village under Karam Tala Gram Panchayat in the Titlagarh Assembly Constituency.

Over 1000 villagers in Odisha's Balangir constituency boycotted polling during Phase 5 of the Lok Sabha Election 2024 on Monday over their "demand for schools and hospitals''. The polling officers sealed all the EVMs and VVPATs at polling booths around 2 pm due to the absence of voters.

Dabjor village residents highlighted the several challenges faced by villagers, including the lack of essential infrastructure such as schools, hospitals, and panchayats.(ANI)
Dabjor village residents highlighted the several challenges faced by villagers, including the lack of essential infrastructure such as schools, hospitals, and panchayats.(ANI)

Full coverage of Lok Sabha Election 2024

The incident occurred in Dabjor village under Karam Tala Gram Panchayat in the Titlagarh Assembly Constituency, which falls under the Balangir Lok Sabha Constituency in Odisha. Approximately 1071 voters boycotted the polling -- 561 male and 510 female.

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Also Read | Odisha assembly election 2024: Voting underway for 35 seats | Key candidates, other details

“The absence of voters and poll agents was observed during the mock poll at 5.45 am. Despite waiting for hours, neither the poll agent nor the voters arrived to cast their votes. Consequently, we had to seal all the EVMs and VVPATs at 2 pm. It appears they boycotted the election due to their demands for schools and hospitals,” said the Presiding Officer, as quoted by ANI.

Debashish Patra, a village resident and voter, emphasised the reasons behind boycotting the elections. He highlighted several challenges faced by villagers, including the lack of essential infrastructure such as schools, hospitals and panchayats.

“Nine months ago, we complained to the district administration about our challenges, but no one has come to address them. Our Panchayat is located in a different village, 18 kilometres away. The government promotes the 'Beti Bachao Beti Padhao' scheme, but do they consider the same daughter who has to cycle 18 kilometres daily to attend school? Senior citizens have to travel 18 kilometres to collect their pensions. We have to travel for rations, and the journey's cost often exceeds the ration's value. We urge the government to solve our problems first; only then will we vote,” said Debashish Patra.

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According to ANI, after the incident, the district collector urged the villagers to vote but refused until their demands were accepted.

Odisha Lok Sabha Election Phase 5

During Phase 5 of the general elections in Odisha, 40 candidates contested for the Lok Sabha seats of Aska, Kandhamal, Bolangir, Bargarh, and Sundergarh, while 265 candidates competed in 35 assembly constituencies.

The voter turnout in Odisha during the fifth phase of the Lok Sabha Election was approximately 72.8 per cent.

Among the five Lok Sabha seats, the highest voter turnout was recorded in Bargarh at 67.27 per cent, followed by Sundergarh at 62.36 per cent, Bolangir at 61.35 per cent, Kandhamal at 57.46 per cent, and Aska at 57.09 per cent. Bijepur in Bargarh saw the highest polling among the 35 assembly constituencies at 72.40 per cent, while the Surada segment in Ganjam had the lowest turnout at 47.80 per cent.

Elections will be held for 42 assembly segments and six Lok Sabha seats on May 25. The remaining 42 assembly segments and six Lok Sabha seats will be voted on in the last phase on June 1. Vote counting will take place on June 4.

In the 2019 assembly elections, the BJD secured 112 out of 146 seats, with the BJP winning 23 seats and the Congress nine seats. Similarly, in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, the BJD emerged victorious with 12 seats, followed closely by the BJP with eight seats, while the Congress secured just one seat.

With ANI inputs

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