Border village to vote for first time

Mana village is located at an altitude of 3,200 metres at the northern end of National Highway-7.
Image of EVMs used for representational purpose.
Image of EVMs used for representational purpose. File photo| PTI

DEHRADUN: The Bhotia tribe, residing in Mana, the first village in Uttarakhand’s Chamoli district near the international border, is all set to vote in their native village for the first time since the formation of the state in the year 2000. The introduction of Electronic Voting Machine for the first time in the village has aroused enthusiasm among the people.

A total of 3,834 voters from Niti Valley and Mana are gearing up to participate in the upcoming Badrinath Assembly by-election to due on July 10.

Mana village is located at an altitude of 3,200 metres at the northern end of National Highway-7. Mana is only 25km from the Tibet border. Around 3km away lies the Hindu pilgrimage site of Badrinath.

Election office sources said out of 3,834 voters, 220 live in Nitigaon, 824 in Mana, 599 in Malari, 210 in Kailashpur, 836 in Gamshali, 393 in Jhelum, 243 in Kosha, 368 in Dronagiri and 141 in Jumma.

The district election office converted the primary school building in Mana into a polling booth. Maintenance work is underway. The rural residents of the Bhotia tribe from Niti Valley will also vote for the first time in their ancestral villages’ polling centres.

Uttarakhand’s chief election officer Dr BVRC Purushottam said there are nine villages from Suraithota to Niti in the Niti Valley, while the village of Mana is known for migration. “It is the first instance since the state’s formation that a by-election for the assembly is being held during Char Dham Yatra,” he said.

In a phone conversation, Pitambar Molfa, the village head of Mana village, said, “There is a lot of enthusiasm among the villagers of Bhotia tribe in Niti and Mana valley about voting this time as they will vote for the first time in their own village.”

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