PARADIP: AS many as 550 voters of Naliapali under Garei panchayat of Paradip Assembly constituency boycotted polling on Monday protesting shifting of booth from their village to another village.
Villagers said in 2009 and 2014 General Elections, they had voted in booth no 82 at Naliapali Primary School in their own village but in this election, the administration tagged the voters to booth no 76 at Bibachpur Primary School, which is two km away from their village. Although they had urged the administration to change the booth, no such step was taken.
They said a majority of voters in the village include elderly persons and people with disabilities and it was difficult for them to walk for two km under scorching heat.Sarpanch of Garei panchayat Sangram Mantri said the booth was shifted for no particular reason and against the wishes of electorates here. “The block officials had assured us to re-consider setting up of the booth in Naliapali school but did not do so which is why, villagers decided to boycott polls”, he said.
Receiving information, block officials led by IIC of Kujang police station Dillip Kumar Sahu visited the village and urged the voters not to boycott polling but the latter did not budge from their stand.