LS polls 2024: People boycott in at least nine places in Tamil Nadu

The people belonging to a Scheduled Caste community tied black cloths around their mouths to show their discontent on Wednesday.
Election boycott in Thoothukudi Pottalurani.
Election boycott in Thoothukudi Pottalurani.Photo | V Karthikalagu, EPS

CHENNAI: Even as Tamil Nadu witnessed a relatively brisk polling of 24.37% till 11 a.m. in the Lok Sabha election on Wednesday, people in at least nine places in the State boycotted polls as a mark of protest over non-resolution of many of their long-pending demands.

Around 60 voters in Vengaivayal village in Pudukkottai district, where human faeces was found mixed in an overhead tank supplying drinking water, stayed away from voting as the culprits responsible for the incident are yet to be identified and arrested even after one year and four months since the incident happened.

The people belonging to a Scheduled Caste community tied black cloths around their mouths to show their discontent on Wednesday. They had earlier disallowed any political party from campaigning in their village.

In Ekanapuram in Kancheepuram district, the epicentre of the ongoing protests against the proposed greenfield airport at Parandur boycotted the polls. The polling booth in the village had recorded around ten votes. The villagers alleged that government officials coerced a few of them to vote.

In Mothakkal village in Tiruvannamalai district, around 500 Dalit families boycotted the polls as their long-pending demands for basic amenities have not been fulfilled. They also alleged that they faced caste-based discrimination.

The polling station in Joghipatti government school in Dharmapuri district remained desolated since people from Jyothihalli in P. Chettihalli panchayat decided not to exercise their right to vote since their demand for a railway bridge in their locality has not been met.

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In Thoothukudi district, people of Pottaloorani village boycotted the polls since no action was taken against three seafood and fish waste processing units despite repeated complaints by the locals about the unbearable stench emanating from these units.

Over 300 villagers protested in Seeragampatti village in Ooralipatti panchayat coming under Natham assembly constituency in Dindigul district. They boycotted the polls, alleging that their elected representatives failed to ensure basic amenities to them for over two decades. A total of 455 voters are there in the village. They hoisted black flags in their homes and raised slogans against the government and elected representatives.

People of Tholluvabetta and Gullatti villages in Bettamugilalam panchayat of Thalli assembly constituency in Krishnagiri district did not vote until 11 a.m., stating that they were planning to boycott the polls as their demand for road facilities in the forest area is yet to be redressed. Officials tried in vain by showing the people the work order issued for road works for one of the villages.

Around 650 voters in Vedampattu in Villupuram district refused to vote, alleging the district administration’s failure to close down the medical waste processing unit in the village.

Around 150 families in Kattupalli Kuppam in Tiruvallur Lok Sabha constituency were boycotting the polls because of the refusal of L&T and Adani Kattupalli ports to reinstate ten persons from their community who were removed from employment. Ponneri MLA Durai Chandrasekar from the Congress party tried to negotiate with the villagers to convince them to vote.

Chief Electoral Officer Satyabrata Sahoo said election officials in respective constituencies were holding talks in the places where people are boycotting the polls in a bid to convince them to exercise their franchise.

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