Two villages in Osmanabad district of Maharashtra on Thursday boycotted voting for the Lok Sabha election, as the villagers felt that the government has not paid heed to their demands and the issues have remained unresolved so far. Residents of Jejala village in Bhum tehsil and Dhanegaon village in Tuljapur boycotted voting.
Jejala has around 1,000 voters, but till 1 pm not a single person came to the polling booth.
“We have been demanding better roads, but no government official and politician addressed our demand,” said Sagar Bhosale, a local youth, who is leading the protest.
“A couple of months back, an ill person from my village died on the way to a nearby hospital as we could not shift him in time. It took 45 minutes for us to reach the hospital, which was just 2.5 km away. Everyone in the village then decided to boycott the election,” he added.
Bhosale also issued a statement on behalf of the villagers.
Village sarpanch Sumitrabai Hogale was not available for comment.
Her close aides told PTI that she has been visiting several government offices with a request for construction of a new road but in vain.
“But after learning about the boycott, she started getting calls from senior officials for exercising her right to vote. Nonetheless, she decided to stand by the villagers and did not cast her vote,” they said.
Villagers of Dhanegaon also boycotted polling as the issue related to their rehabilitation has remained unresolved for a long time.
“We have been suffering for years. We were rehabilitated several years ago, but the allotted lands have not been transferred in our names. We do not want to vote for any candidate as no one has come to us with a solution so far,” a villager, who did not wish to be named, said.
When contacted, a senior official from Osmanabad district collectorate said, “It is true that two villages have not voted. Not a single vote was cast in the respective polling booths so far. We are trying to convince people and hopeful of finding some solution.”
In the second phase of Lok Sabha elections in Maharashtra, polling was held in Buldhana, Akola, Amravati, Hingoli, Nanded, Parbhani, Beed, Osmanabad, Latur and Solapur constituencies on Thursday.