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Kumaon villages lose faith in the ballot

BD Kasniyal, Tribune
Pitthoragarh, May 19

Villagers of Kumaon, disappointed with their elected representatives for failure to provide them water, roads and electricity, boycotted the just-concluded Lok Sabha elections. The EVMs installed in their polling booths did not register a single vote.

The villagers of Sumgarh in Bageshwar district were disappointed with the construction of a tunnel in their village by a hydro-electric company. They say the company had not kept its promise to provide handsome compensation for the land acquired and jobs to local youths.

“When the company began work, it promised us not only good compensation for our land but jobs as well,” said Surendra Singh Koranga, organiser of the Sangharsh Samiti, Banse. “But when 80 per cent of work on the tunnel was completed and our water sources had run dry, neither the company nor any government official came to hold talks with us,” said Koranga. Hence, the villagers decided to boycott the elections. [more]