SRINAGAR: In a first, a village in Gurez valley of north Kashmir’s Bandipora district Saturday boycotted the District Development Council (DDC) elections, saying that the village has been ignored by the successive representatives and there is no visible development in these villages.
Talking to the news agency KNO, the residents of Chorwan village said that they have been ignored by the successive regimes and representatives over the years, which has prompted them to stay away from the polls today.
“The village has witnessed zero development in the past 70 years and the representatives have made false promises only. Our village even lacks basic facilities,” said Hamidullah Lone, a local resident.
He said that they have participated in every election in the past but they have always been “cheated” by their representatives as there is no development visible on the ground.
The villagers said that this is for the first time that they stayed away from the elections as the politicians and successive regimes have made hollow promises with them.
“We have no mobile network connectivity in the village, roads are in shambles and there is no Water Supply Scheme in our village. This is what we get in return after participating in every election in the past 70 years,” they said.
The villagers claimed that the successive representatives have always reneged on their promises and ignored the area after getting votes in every election. “So today we decided to boycott the elections. Unless and until our basic issues like better roads, electricity, water supply and mobile network connectivity are not addressed we won’t participate in any electoral process,” they said.
They said that the local representatives have always made huge promises but after getting votes in the name of development they disappear from ground.
Meanwhile, an official said that out of total of 871 registered voters in Chorwan village, not a single vote was polled during the first phase of DDC elections today.
Meanwhile, voters from Koragbal village in Gurez also stayed away from polls, saying that the polling station was shifted to Kanzalwan village, which is very far from their residential place.
“We used to have a polling station in our village during every election but this time it was shifted to Kanzalwan, which is very far from here. The village also received heavy snowfall recently, so we couldn’t make it to reach the polling booths,” the villagers said.
An official said that another village Anikot, which falls in Tulail block also witnessed lowest voter turnout as the polling station was very far from the village. He said the polling station of Anikot village was set up in Malangam village of Tulail block, which is far from Anikot and that is the reason the villagers couldn’t participate in the electoral process