Issues unresolved, villagers threaten poll boycott in Tamil Nadu

The villagers refused and demanded a permanent closure of the company as they did not trust the officials. As the polling drew to an end, some residents from four villages voted.
Voters wait to cast their vote
Voters wait to cast their vote(Photo | KARTHIK.V, EPS)

MADURAI/SIVAGANGA/VIRUDHUNAGAR/DINDIGUL/RAMANATHAPURAM : Even as the polling process took place smoothly across the districts, villagers who were irked by officials' apathy, lack of facilities and other issues decided to boycott the polls.

In Manamadurai assembly constituency Seethurani village, residents boycotted the election, seeking proper roads and drainage facilities.  Manamadurai MLA Tamilarsai attempts to convince the villagers went in vain. However, the district administration convinced the voters and assured them to look into the issues, after which they casted votes.

Plea to shut fertilizer firm

In Virudhunagar constituency, over 2,000 voters from Chennampatti and Peikulam villages of Tirumangalam assembly segment boycotted the elections and staged a protest on Friday, demanding the permanent closure of a private fertilizer company which treats chicken waste and manufactures fertilizer, in their region. Stating that the wastewater discharged after treatment has been affecting waterbodies and groundwater in the surrounding villages, including K Chennampatti, Avalsoorampatti, Kurayoor, Melapatti, Peikulam, and Odaipatti, and the stench emananting from the unit, the villagers said they had flagged the issue with the officials a few days ago and even staged a protest.

While the officials held peace talks and promised action, no measures have been taken so far, the villagers said, adding that they would not cast their vote unless the company is sealed. Later, officials again held talks with the residents and temporarily shut the company, assuring the villagers that a peace committee meeting would be held in a few days. The villagers refused and demanded a permanent closure of the company as they did not trust the officials. As the polling drew to an end, some residents from four villages voted.

No facilities, no votes

Over 300 villagers staged a protest in Seeragampatti village of Ooralipatti panchayat in Natham assembly constituency, stating that the elected representatives did provide them fulfill basic facilities and boycotted the election. The villagers alleged that since 20 years, candidates gave poll promises such as bringing roads, toilets and providing drinking water. After the elections, none of the promises were fulfilled. Angered, the residents hoisted black flags, staged protests and also raised slogans against the government and elected representatives.

KARTHIK.V

Upon receiving information, police and administrative officials reached the village and pacified them, after which they cast their votes. Similarly, in the second ward in Aayakudi municipality of Palani also boycotted the polls. After the officials intervention, villagers resumed the polling.

Act against persons who assaulted our villager

Urging action against persons who assaulted their village, residents of Saveriar Pattinam in Mudukulathur threatened to boycott the poll. A villager from Saveriar Pattinam, on the condition of anonymity, stated that recently a local villager, an ex-army man was brutally assaulted by a local politico from Mudukulathur along with a gang. With serious injuries, the victim was sent to a hospital in Madurai and despite complaining, no action was taken against the accused. Till 11 am, there were no booth agents at a polling center in Saveriar Pattinam. Accordingly, Sub Collector Abhilasha Kour reached the venue and pacified the agitated villagers. After officials provided an assurance, the villagers returned to vote. 

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