DAMOH: With three phases of Lok Sabha elections around the corner in the state, all political parties are putting their best foot forward promising best of development for the state. However, the state of affairs in Samdai village in Damoh region narrates a different story.
Samdai is facing a drought-like situation, with villagers threatening to boycott the elections if their demands are not met. People from as many as 18 villages of Damoh district submitted a letter before the District Collector on Saturday demanding ponds in every village in the district, among other things.
Villagers also demonstrated in front of the Collector's office holding placards that read "talaab nahi to vote nahi (no pond, no vote)" to show their anger.
Speaking to ANI, one of the demonstrators Savitri Devi said: "We have to walk for hours to fetch water. There is no alternative since we do not have a pond in our village."
Echoing similar sentiments, another demonstrator said: "We had earlier put our demands before Damoh MP Prahlad Singh Patel but to no avail. Officials do not pay heed to our demands. We will not vote in this election if our demands are not met this time."
Additional Collector Ananda Kopriya, however, assured that demands of the villagers will be met. Speaking to ANI, he said, "We have forwarded the letter. We will also talk to the villagers regarding the matter."
Back-to-back droughts and erratic rainfall pattern in the era of global warming has drastically affected the groundwater level in the state.
Madhya Pradesh went to polls in the fourth phase on April 29. Next polling will be held in the fifth, sixth and seventh phases on May 6, 12 and 19, respectively. The counting of votes will be done on May 23.