VELLORE: Residents of Amoondi village in Vellore district boycotted the rural local body polls on Wednesday, in protest against reserving the village panchayat president post for Scheduled Caste (SC-women) category.
Earlier, no one from the village had filed their nominations for the president post and the village panchayat ward member post, as they opposed the reservation saying that the panchayat, with over 2000 votes, had only two votes of women belonging to a SC community
On Wednesday, the villagers further decided not to exercise their franchise for the other two posts -- district panchayat ward member and panchayat union ward member. While four sanitary workers from the village turned up at polling booths in the morning to cast their votes, they were stopped by the villagers and had to go back.
Following the incident, District Collector P. Kumaravel Pandian gave instructions to the police to deploy additional force at polling booths to prevent any such untoward incidents. The police then beefed up security at the five polling booths in the panchayat union primary school.
“Given the situation in the village, we provided additional security to protect those who wanted to cast their votes. Poll awareness drives were also carried out in the district and the public were told to exercise their votes without any fear,” Kumaravel Pandian told TNIE.
When contacted, K. Aarthi, Project Director, District Rural Development Agency (DRDA), told TNIE, “No votes were polled in Amoondi village panchayat on the day. This does not mean that the village would end up with zero votes polled. There are over 50 government employees residing in the village who might exercise their franchise through postal voting. We would know on October 12, the day of counting, if the village has any postal votes,” she said.
Security beefed UP
Following the incident, District Collector P. Kumaravel Pandian gave instructions to the police to deploy additional force at polling booths to prevent any such untoward incidents. The police then beefed up security.