KENDRAPARA: Tired of unfulfilled promises and apathy of elected representatives, residents of around nine villages in Rajnagar Assembly segment have decided to boycott the ensuing General Elections.
Around 30,000 people of Okilapala, Iswarapur, Debendranaranpur, Gupti, Barahapur, Khola, Talachua, Rangani, Nalatiapatia and others near Bhitarkanika National Park have taken the decision. Sixty four-year-old Mahendra Mandal of Okilapala said : “My village lacks basic amenities like road, clean and safe drinking water and health care facility. Besides, villagers’ names have not been included in land pattas.”
Pradip Das of Iswarpur said, “The villagers have decided to boycott the upcoming polls in protest against violation of Forest Right Act by the Government.”
The decision to stay away from the polls was taken by forest dwellers to protest the apathy of the administration towards claims filed by them under the Forest Rights Act, said Rabindra Jena of the village.
However, terming the poll boycott warning as a ploy, senior BJD leader and former chairman of Kendrapada municipality Dhiren Sahoo said before every elections, villagers resort to this tactic to pressurise ticket aspirants to fulfil their demands. “They use the boycott call as an instrument to settle demands”, he added.
Sub-Collector of Kendrapara Sanjay Mishra said the district administration has provided land pattas to several forest dwellers in the district. “We came to know that some people have decided to boycott the polls. We will pursue them to exercise their franchise,” he added.
Ticket discontent in Dharmasala BJP
Jajpur: Resentment is brewing among a section of BJP supporters following the announcement of the party candidate for Dharmasala Assembly seat in Jajpur district. Party workers, supporting Surendra Kumar Panda, have threatened to quit BJP en masse protesting the denial of party ticket to the aspirant.
Expressing discontent over the BJP’s decision to field Ramesh Chandra Parida from the seat, hundreds of Panda’s supporters gathered at the party’s office at Kuakhia Bazaar and staged protest on Saturday. This has exposed the rift in Dharmasala unit of the BJP. Later in the night, a meeting, chaired by BJP president of Zone 11 Dillip Kumar Rout, was held to chalk out the next course of action.
Opposing Parida’s candidature, supporters of Panda said they will resign from the party if BJP doesn’t change its nominee for Dharmasala. “We vehemently oppose Parida’s selection as the party nominee. We want Panda as our candidate,” said Biswanath Panda, a BJP leader. “We have given an ultimatum to the party high command to change the nominee for Dharmasala. If it fails to do so, we will quit party,” said Bipin Behari Nath, another BJP leader.