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Candidates scared of Poll boycott by voters

Written by: Staff

Tiruchirapalli, Apr 26: At a time when campaigning for the May eight Tamil Nadu assembly elections is gaining momentum, poll boycott threats galore in this District in Tamil Nadu.

After being baffled by the stringent norms laid down by the Election Commission(EC), candidates representing various political parties were now facing a difficult task of convincing the electorates, especially in some rural areas, where they have decided to boycott the elections for want of adequate infrastructure facilities like provision of safe drinking water, road and sanitry, among others.

Over 500 residents of Pochampatti, a sleepy village in Srirangam Taluk has decided to boycott the polls, as their representations to lay road and provision for drinkng water fell on deaf ears of the concerned officials and politicians for more than a decade.

''We are not asking for share in the power. What we need for the village is drinking water facility and road. When the politicians fail to do their job, why should we vote for them,'' asked a 52-year-old farmer Raman Achary of Pochampatti.

Mr Achari alleged that even if we vote for these political parties as a general practice, believing their false promises, we will be cheated again.

Similarly, about 60 families of Chengattupatti village under Uppiliyapuram assembly constituency has decided to boycott the elections in protest against non-provision of street-lights, drinking water, among others. The villagers alleged that their long-pending demands were yet to be fulfilled by the officials concerned.

Another village called Karaimedu in the Uppiliyapuram assembly constituency in the district with a population of about 1000 rpt 1000 people has decided to boycott the poll as their long-pending demand for erecting a borewell for drinking water was yet to be fulfilled. The villagers alleged that they have to trek to a distance of two-and-half kms in the scorching sun to collect the drinking water.

Residents of Athikaran village in Manapparai Taluk will also boycott the polls as the electricity department has failed to replace a transformer, which was burst. Unless, the officials concerned provide a new transformer, we will not vote for anybody, they added.

The Federation of service organisations has also decided to keep away from polling in protest against what they alleged that the disrict administration has failed to take concrete steps to prevent floods in Tiruchirapalli-I and Tiruchirapalli-II assembly constituencies. Similarly, the Karumandapam Exnora has planned to boycott the polls for similar reason.

Talking to UNI, Exnora Prsident G Subramanian said that hundreds of families were severely affected in the October and November 2005 floods in both Trichy-I and Trichy II constituencies.

Mr Subramanian alleged that no concrete flood prevention measures have been planned and executed, despite several pleas.

When the UNI met some of the prominent candidates, representing both the ruling and opposition parties with the ventilated grievances of people, they promised to look into it immediately after the elections.

M Paranjothi, AIADMK candidate, contesting from Srirangam assembly constituency, who is also the former Chairman of Medical Services Corporation of Tamil Nadu told UNI that ''Amma(Ms Jayalalithaa) Government will look into the issues concerning the people and fulfill their needs.

Mr Paranjothi, listed out various measures implemented during the AIADMK regime.

Former Minister and DMK candidate, K N Nehru, representing Trichy-II constituency has promised to take the necessary steps to prevent floods in the city.


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