Villagers of remote Bagjam to boycott elections

Staff Reporter
ITANAGAR, Apr 8: The peoples of Bagjam village in remote Pipsorang circle of Kra Daadi district are set to boycott the coming simultaneous assembly and Lok Sabha elections, owing to the absence of a polling station nearby for the people to cast their votes.
Thirty-nine voters of Bagjam village informed about the decision in a representation addressed to the chief electoral officer (CEO) here recently. There are altogether 111 voters in Bagjam.
In the representation, the villagers said they have to cast their votes at the Lukbia polling station, which they said is 8 kms away from their village.
“There is a natural barrier of two big rivers, namely, the Pare and the Sulu, which separates Bagjam village from the Lukbia polling station. There is an old wire hanging bridge over the rivers, which can be reached only after 4 to 5 hours of foot march, which makes it difficult for the old and the physically challenged voters to exercise their votes,” the villagers said.
They said they had earlier submitted a representation to the Tali Assistant Electoral Registration Officer (AERO), Kipa Raja, regarding the issue and requested for a separate polling station for Bagjam village.
“The AERO had recommended to the electoral registration officer (ERO) of Tali for a separate polling station, and the Tali MLA had also recommended to the ERO for creation of a polling station for Bagjam village on 16 June, 2018. However, on 17 July, 2018, the Tali ADC-cum-ERO, Biaro Sorum, submitted a report to district election officer (DEO) where there was no mention of our village,” claimed the villagers.
They also said the ERO neither visited the village nor sought any report from the booth level officer before submitting a report to the DEO, wherein there was no mention of Bagjam village.
Terming the ERO’s recommendation that Bagjam fell within a two-kilometre radius of the Lukbia polling station “completely false,” the villagers said the ECI’s concept of ‘greater participation for a stronger democracy’ would fail if such a policy were to be adopted by the ERO.
“Despite several representations made to the DEO and your office, no corrective measures have been taken, nor have our grievances been redressed, thus compelling us to boycott the elections by not casting our votes at the Lukbia polling station,” they said in the representation.