Ballurugudde residents firm on poll boycott

Ballurugudde residents firm on poll boycott

The residents of Ballurugudde village near Padil on the outskirts of Mangalore have resolved not to vote in the ensuing Lok Sabha polls on April 17 to protest against the apathy of the officials in meeting their demands.

MLA J R Lobo visited the residents to convince them to withdraw their decision on April 11. However, the residents are firm on their decision. 

Speaking to Deccan Herald, local resident Iqbal said: “We know that exercising franchise is our right and responsibility. However, we are tired of the promises from the elected representatives. We are protesting against the injustice. Though we come under the Mangalore City Corporation, we are one of most under developed village.” Around 3,000 residents of Ballurgudde had staged a protest to express their anger recently. 

Along with basic facilities like drinking water, roads, drainage system, waste management, primary health centre, they wanted a level crossing facilities. Owing to lack of level crossing, kids have to creep under goods train.  

Mohammed Inthiqab, a resident of the village said: “we have been exercising our franchise for several decades. Union Minister for Road Transport Oscar Fernandes had visited the village once and had promised to solve the problems. All our efforts to get a road, water and drainage facilities went in vain. Congress leaders said that Janardhan Poojary has no time to speak to us. Nalin Kumar Kateel said that he was helpless in solving our problem. The MLA said that he can’t promise on development works. How can we believe them? ” he asked.

Speaking to Deccan Herald, MLA Lobo said “the villagers have decided to stay away from exercising franchise. Now, we can not make promises owing to the model code of conduct. I am well aware of their problems. It is the voters who have to decide on exercising franchise.”

“I had visited the village twice. The villagers had demanded a railway underpass which required a huge amount. The work on underpass takes time to implement. Now, they are demanding a railway underpass, which can be looked into after the election.”

Meanwhile, MCC Joint Commissioner Gokuldas Naik said that the officials have visited Ballurugudde to take a stock of the situation. “The officials have discussed the issue with the residents. We will convince them to withdraw their decision of boycotting the election.”

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