UP Assembly elections 2022: Why two villages in Badaun boycotted polls

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After a long day, Uttar Pradesh recorded a voter turnout of 62.82 per cent in Phase 2 of the polls on Monday.

Election Commission officials said that the polling went off smoothly and the numbers showed that the citizens of UP were actively participating in the ‘Dance of Democracy’.

However, villagers of Narau and Milaal Nangla — in Shekhupur Assembly constituency in Uttar Pradesh’s Badaun district boycotted the election exercise.

Let’s take a look at what happened.

Villagers boycott polls

Narau and Milaal Nangla are villages in Shekhupur of the Badaun district. According to estimates, both the villages house around 1,200 people.

Their reason for boycotting the polls: To express their frustration in regards to contaminated water, which they are being forced to ingest.

The villagers had stated that they won’t vote till the issue of contaminated water is resolved. They claimed that many individuals have died and plenty of are affected by critical ailments, PTI reported.

While talking to news agency ANI, Badaun Sub-Divisional Magistrate (SDM) BP Sharma said, “Even before this call by a few villagers, we spoke to them. The water comes from Ujhani Municipality here. The villagers say that the drinking water is also completely contaminated. For this, a plan has been chalked out that has been prepared by the municipal council. We have also spoken to the villagers that we are making full efforts by engaging higher officials from the government level to solve this problem.”

Villagers speak

Munna Lal, who lives in Narau village, was quoted as saying, "The soiled water of the municipality is coming from the drain, attributable to which 1,200 bighas of our land of the village have been wasted and the illness has unfold in the entire village, many individuals of the village have grow to be sick and many individuals have additionally died.”

"We told many leaders but no one listened to us, because of this, we have decided to boycott voting, no one in the village will go to vote, many people of the administration also came to convince the villagers. We have made up our mind till our problem is not resolved, till then we will not vote, no MLA has listened to our problem till date,” he further said to ANI.

"The children of the village are suffering from jaundice and are compelled to drink dirty water. No one in the district is ready to get married in our village because the contaminated is contaminated."

Speaking to ANI, Ganga Devi, who lives in the village, said, “The problem of our village is very big due to which two of my children have died. I have been requesting everyone for the last many years but no one is listening. This problem has remained in our village for 20 years. Many ministers also came but no one did anything.”

Not the first time

This isn’t the first instance of such an electoral boycott.

During the 2019 general elections, voters of five villages in the Jhansi-Lalitpur constituency of Uttar Pradesh had boycotted the polls.

The villagers had complained that the administration had failed to make use of various water sources and dams present in the region, forcing five villages in this district to face the worst water crisis.

Similar calls for skipping voting has been made by villagers in Kolhapur during the previous Lok Sabha elections and even Assagao villagers in Goa had called for a boycott of the 2022 Assembly elections if the government didn’t resolve their water woes.

With inputs from agencies

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UP Assembly elections 2022: Why two villages in Badaun boycotted polls
UP Assembly elections 2022: Why two villages in Badaun boycotted polls
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