Updated May 21st, 2024 at 12:49 IST

1100 Villagers Boycott Polls Over Lack Of Roads, Schools As PM Modi Blames BJD For Odisha's Downfall

Around 1,100 villagers in Odisha's Balangir Monday boycotted elections over lack of hospitals, schools and roads during the fifth phase of Lok Sabha Election

Reported by: Digital Desk
PM Modi corners Naveen Patnaik government over corruption | Image:Agencies
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Bhubaneshwar: Around 1,100 villagers in Odisha's Balangir Monday boycotted elections over lack of hospitals, schools and roads during the fifth phase of Lok Sabha Election polling on a day Prime Minister Narendra Modi trained his guns at Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and the BJD over depriving the state of basic amenities.

"We wanted to conduct the mock poll and wanted some polling agents to do the same, but we did not find any agent... We waited for our electors, but nobody has come to cast their votes yet. Till 2 pm, nobody had come to vote... we think that they boycotted their vote for some demands... Nobody has cast their vote yet," booth 15 presiding officer, Runu Meher was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.

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"We boycotted the voting for our demand over panchayat and high school... There are no roads also. There are approximately 1780 voters... We will not cast our vote until our demands are fulfilled", another villager told ANI. 

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Another villager Debashish Patra told ANI that there are no roads or high schools in their villages. Patra further stated that despite them writing about their condition to both the collector and SP 9 months back, no action has been taken yet. "We will boycott all the elections until our demands are not fulfilled."

This development came on a day when PM Modi cornered the Naveen Patnaik government over widespread corruption, alleging that the BJD lawmakers were stalling several development projects in the state for their commission, addressing public meetings in Dhenkanal and Cuttack. Dismissing media reports, PM Modi said that there will be no hung assembly in Odisha and BJP will come to power in the 147-member Odisha Legislative Assembly. The elections to both Lok Sabha and Vidhan Sabha are happening simultaneously in Odisha.

Saying that he was hurt over the "destruction" of the state," PM Modi said, "Who is responsible for the sorry state of affairs in Odisha? It is the BJD government which is under the control of some corrupt people. A handful of corrupt persons have grabbed the chief minister's office and residence. Small workers of the BJD have now become crorepatis."

Coming down heavily on the ruling BJD, Modi said the state government has prevented people from availing the benefits of the mineral resources. "In 2014, Modi had prepared a new mineral exploration policy, under which Odisha is getting high royalty," he said.

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Stating that Odisha received Rs 50,000 crore as mineral royalty and Rs 26,000 crore from the district mineral fund (DMF), Modi said the money should have been spent on roads, schools and drinking water, but the BJD has "misused" it.

(With inputs from agencies)

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Published May 21st, 2024 at 12:49 IST