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Poll pledges unfulfilled for 20 years, 2 villages in Bundelkhand to boycott Lok Sabha elections | India News



MAURANIPUR (JHANSI): Come May 20, two villages of Mauranipur assembly segment of Jhansi parliamentary constituencies will boycott Lok Sabha poll – a first for the Bundelkhand region. One village has refused to vote as electricity connections continue to elude its residents despite assurances by candidates in every elections for the past 20 years. Every household of the 100 in the village has at least one mobile phone, which the villagers have to charge by visiting neighbouring electrified villages and paying Rs 10 for one full charge.
The other village, nearly 40km apart, is protesting indequate compensation for losses incurred in a strong hailstorm that completely destroyed standing crops on March 2.
Though together the boycott will keep just 1,200 voters away from a total voting populace of 21.6 lakh in the Jhansi LS seat of Bundelkhand region, the unanimous decision of Puraina in Bangra block and Panchampura in Mauranipur block, is a reflection of the dejection felt by many against politicians for their failed promises.
All the villagers TOI spoke to in Puraina gave vent to their frustration which has driven them to organise this boycott emphasising the impact on education of children. “We have decided to boycott the poll on May 20 as our village is not electrified despite repeated promises by local leaders and officials ahead of every election – be it panchayat, assembly or parliamentary,” said Arvind, of Puraina, 60km from Jhansi.
A few privileged ones supported by migrant income spent Rs 14,000 to get electricity illegally from neighbouring villages 2km away from Puraina. “Even that is possible if we give extra money as bribe to local officials during checking,” claimed Deepchand, a local. Villagers here mainly survive on free ration provided by govt and money sent by younger family members who have migrated to Delhi to work as daily wagers. Farming is barely existential for them due to water scarcity.
Villagers of Panchampura, on the other hand, feel cheated because they did not get adequate compensation for crop losses despite promises by sitting BJP MP and current party candidate from Jhansi, Anurag Sharma. The MP visited them and nearby villages after the hailstorm on March 2.
Almost the entire village, mainly men, gathered around and told TOI that they will not cast vote. “We have received only partial compensation much below even under the existing norms of support during such disaster… How can we pay our debt or repay our loan or go for farming operation once monsoon arrives? Why should we vote when govt did not listen to us,” said Narendra Kumar Patel, a local. The villagers directed their ire at local land revenue officials for the mess created around compensation.
The hailstorm affected 145 villages in Jhansi on March 2, damaging crops worth over Rs 83 crore on roughly 50,000 hectare farmland. Villages of Mauranipur tehsil are worst affected.





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