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Lok Sabha polls 2024: Pressing for fulfilment of promises, Tamil Nadu villagers boycott polls

In Vengaivayal, over 60 Dalit families boycotted the polls and erected black flags atop their houses to register protest against police inaction in finding the “real culprits” in the December 2022 incident.
Last Updated : 19 April 2024, 16:30 IST
Last Updated : 19 April 2024, 16:30 IST

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Chennai: With their long-standing demands falling into deaf ears, the majority of the people in at least a dozen villages in Tamil Nadu on Friday restored to an unusual way of protest by boycotting Lok Sabha elections.

Villagers of Vengaivayal in Pudukkottai district and Ekanapuram in Kanchipuram district boycotted the polls in protest against police inaction in finding the culprits behind mixing human feces in a overhead tank supplying drinking water to Dalits and acquiring farm lands for a greenfield airport for Chennai.

At the end of voting on Friday evening, only 21, mostly government employees, of the total 1,400 votes were cast in Ekanapuram village, whose residents have been protesting for the past 600 days against building a new airport to meet the growing needs of Chennai.

“The government employees were forced to cast their votes. No villagers went to the polling station to cast their votes. When our protests are ignored and we aren’t treated properly, why should we participate in the election?” R L Elango, a villager and one of the organisers of the protests, told DH.

In Vengaivayal, over 60 Dalit families boycotted the polls and erected black flags atop their houses to register protest against police inaction in finding the “real culprits” in the December 2022 incident. The human feces was found inside the tank after which the government transferred the case to CB-CID, but no headway has been made in the probe so far.

People in Kumararajipettai in Tiruvallur district boycotted the polls to protest against the decision to demolish two temples for a government project, while the reason for the boycott in Puthiya Nambiyar village in Nagapattinam is the delay in solving their water woes.

Villagers of S Eripalayam, Viruthagirikuppam, Pudu Viruthagirikuppam and Katchi Perimanatham, which account for over 7,000 votes, boycotted the polls demanding immediate solution to their problems. The situation in Mothakkal village in Tiruvannamalai district was the same as around 500 Dalit families boycotted the polls demanding fulfillment of basic amenities.

Villagers of Pottaloorani In Thoothukudi, Seeragampatti in Dindigul, and Tholluvabetta and Gullatti villages Krishnagiri district, Vedampattu in Villupuram district and Kattupalli Kuppam in Tiruvallur district also boycotted the polls.

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Published 19 April 2024, 16:30 IST

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