Dharmapuri tribals relent after official’s assurance on roads, call off poll boycott after four hour- The New Indian Express

By Express News Service

DHARMAPURI: Residents of Kottur, Eriyur, and Allakattu hamlets threatened to boycott the Assembly election on Tuesday morning as their major demand for roads had not been fulfilled by any elected consultant since Independence.

However, two of the three hamlets relented after Pennagaram Returning Officer signed a letter promising to fulfil a listing of 5 calls for after the election.

The transfer comes after polling stations had been arrange in Eriyur and Kottur to make voting simpler for the residents. The election officers used donkeys to move the EVMs and VVPATs to the distant tribal hamlets.

On Tuesday morning, after residents failed to indicate up for polling, election officers discovered that the residents had boycotted the polls. According to sources, Kottur residents additionally reportedly despatched out the sales space brokers stationed of their village.

Explaining their calls for, Pasuvaraj, a graduate from Allakattu, mentioned that the residents had been pressured to stroll 11-15 kilometres to avail of fundamental providers together with healthcare, and training.

“No elected representative has ever visited our village; so, why should we cast our votes?” he requested.

Pennagaram Returning Officer Thanikachalam informed TNIE that the residents staged the protest regardless of officers assuring them forward of the polls that their calls for could be met.

“The Central government’s approval is required to lay the roads within the reserved forest. Moreover, these villages require three separate roads along different routes. At present, the road project is pending and will soon be approved,” he defined.

Following the announcement on the poll boycott, the election officers held talks with the residents.

Nearly 5 hours later, residents of Allakattu and Eriyur began voting after Pennagaram Returning officer Thanikachalam, BDO Anandhan and the Forest Ranger signed a letter promising {that a} five-point demand, together with the development of separate roads to the three hamlets could be fulfilled quickly.

The 4 different calls for are offering employment underneath the MNREGS, permitting using tractors for farming, and use of earth-movers for levelling the terrain, and offering water provide underneath the Hogenakkal Integrated Drinking Water Project to the villages.

While residents of Allakattu and Eriyur agreed to vote following the assurance, Kottur tribals stayed agency of their determination to boycott the polls. Out of 329 votes in Kottur hamlet, solely two had forged their votes on Tuesday.

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