BALANGIR/BERHAMPUR : Residents of Bhainsapali village in Balangir district boycotted polls on Thursday protesting renaming of Bhainsapali railway station as Bichhupali railway station.
In January this year, the Bhainsapali railway station on the Khurda-Balangir route was inaugurated in Balangir district. However, people of Bichhupali claimed that the railway station came under their jurisdiction and should be renamed. Subsequently, the name was changed to Bichhupali railway station and this triggered resentment among Bhainsapali villagers. They decided to boycott the polls in protest.
Similarly, villagers of Babja under Loisingha block and Gandpali, Haldipadar villages under Agalpur block boycotted polling as the booths were far from their villages.Balmati Sahu, a voter of Babja village, alleged that the booth was eight km away for her village. “It is very difficult for us to walk for eight km under scorching sun to vote,” she said.
Babja village comes under Banipali panchayat and has 650 voters. Earlier the village was under Ratakhandi gram panchayat but after reorganisation of panchayats, the village came under Banipali panchayat. No booth was set up here protesting which, villagers boycotted the election.
In Ganjam district, over 600 voters of Kumbhar village under Beguniapada block boycotted the polls protesting interference of police and local administration in a religious festival. Besides, people of Bataguda panchayat under Balliguda Assembly segment did not vote protesting lack of basic facilities. The panchayat includes Gangeri, Dukamila, Palsimila and Tangam villages which do not have roads, healthcare and education facilities.