Tripura tribal voters boycott polls over bad road

AGARTALA, 26 Apr: More than 600 voters of a remote tribal village in Dhalai district, part of Tripura East Lok Sabha constituency, abstained from voting on Friday due to the unrepaired condition of a 7-km village road, an election official said.
The villagers, numbering around 900, have been persistently demanding repairs for months, emphasising the road’s critical importance to their community, the official added.
“As per schedule, the polling team reached Sadai Mohan Para polling station under Raima Valley assembly constituency in Tripura East Lok Sabha seat,” the Sub-Divisional Magistrate (SDM) of Gandacherra (Raima Valley), Arindam Das, told PTI over the phone.
The villagers are standing outside the polling booth but not entering it to cast their votes as they are protesting against government apathy, the official said.
“We are hopeful the villagers will join the festival of democracy, and the administration will look into their demands seriously,” he said.
The villagers have also complained about the drinking water problem, Das said, adding that, after getting the report, a team of officials rushed to Sadai Mohan Para to persuade the voters to exercise their democratic rights.
“I heard voters of two polling booths, one at Maldapara (Sadai Moha Para) in Dhalai district and another at Ampi in Gumati district, are not going to cast their votes as their demand for road and water supply has not been addressed. Officials have gone there to persuade the villagers to cast their vote in the elections,” state Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ratan Lal Nath told the media.
“Apart from two incidents, the polling was moderate and peaceful in all the booths so far. The CPI (M) has failed to send polling agents to the booths. It seems it is fleeing the battleground,” Nath added. (PTI)