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This Karnataka village set to boycott LS polls, here is why

April 04, 2024 01:52 IST

Residents of a village in Kapu assembly segment of Udupi-Chikkamagaluru Lok Sabha constituency have decided to boycott the upcoming election, in protest against the poor civic amenities there.

IMAGE: Karnataka Congress president DK Shivakumar addressing a public meeting ahead of Karnataka assembly elections, at Mudigere, in Chikkamagaluru, May 5, 2023. Photograph: ANI Photo


The villagers were aggrieved that Kattingeri grapples with a dearth of essential amenities such as roads, bridges, and functional public transport connectivity.

They lamented the lack of progress despite previous engagements with authorities, including a visit by the deputy commissioners in the past, which failed to yield tangible solutions.

Former President of Belle Gram Panchayat Shivaji S Suvarna highlighted the significant voter base in Kattingeri, estimating around a thousand eligible voters with substantial participation in past elections.

However, the absence of basic infrastructure remains a glaring issue, particularly the absence of roads and bridges, impeding access to vital services for the past six years, he said.

Former Taluk Panchayat President Devdas Hebbar underscored the unwavering resolve of the villagers, noting previous instances where boycotts were rescinded due to assurances from elected representatives.
However, this time, the villagers have stood firm against external pressures and enticements, and have committed to the decisions made at the meeting.

Ranjani Hegde, former President of Belle Gram Panchayat, informed PTI of the non-negotiable stance of the villagers that they would vote in the elections only if roadworks are completed and bus services to Kattingeri are resumed.

Expressing disillusionment with the local MLAs and MPs due to their apparent disregard for the village, Hegde said efforts were being made to garner attention to their problems, especially through correspondence with the District Election Officer and the State Election Commission about the boycott.

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