Lack of basic amenities and unfulfilled promises by the State Government forced voters in many places across the six constituencies to boycott the first phase General Elections on Thursday.
People of several villages in Koraput district did not vote to protest lack of roads. Residents of Moshiput under Koraput Municipality said neither the district administration nor any politician has paid heed to their demand in the last five years. Although the village is located just three km away, it does not have an approach road. Protesting the apathy, 500 voters of the village decided to stay away from voting.
Jetty villagers under Koraput block also did not vote with their demand for road remaining unheard for over a decade. Voters of Kellar and Kalia Jhola under Laxmipur block did not exercise their franchise over the same demand till Koraput MLA Krushna Chandra Sagari assured them to look into their demand.
Similarly, ADM Deven Pradhan had to intervene when Kitudi villagers decided not to vote over lack of roads. They relented when ADM assured them for construction of a road after the Model Code of Conduct is lifted.
People of three villages boycotted polls in Nabarangpur district. Voters of Pokhonaguda village in Dahana gram panchayat of Nandahandi block refused to cast their vote over lack of an all-weather road in their village and renovation of the village tank. Voters of Kantamal village under Papadahandi block did not vote to demand a permanent gram panchayat office in their village. At Janipara in Benora gram panchayat, people stayed away from voting as their names were not listed in the voters list.
At least 200 villagers of Laharasahi and Ghagudimala under Kalyansinghpur block of Rayagada district also did not turn up to exercise their franchise in booth no 121 protesting lack of development in their areas. In the morning, only five voters of Ghagudimala had voted.
Voters of many villages in Kalahandi district restrained from voting over their demands of road connectivity and bridges. These are Bhejipadar under Bhawanipatna Assembly segment, four villages under Taljhapi of Thuamul Rampur block in Lanjigarh Assembly segment, Manibandha of Lanjigarh Assembly segment, Surli, Supel, Kusumdara, Sankriguda cluster of villages under Junagarh Assembly segment and Tetengpadar under Narla Assembly segment.
Even as Government officials persuaded villagers to vote, they refused to budge from their stand.