Over 828 voters of Bacham, the village adopted by Rajya Sabha MP and Congress candidate from Almora parliamentary constituency Pradeep Tamta, boycotted polling as the seat along with four others went to polls in the first phase of the general elections on Thursday. The village in Kapkot Assembly constituency of Bageswar district boycotted the election, citing neglect in development schemes by the state government.
"We have repeatedly been reminding the state government, asking it to upgrade our junior high school into a high school but the state government did not pay heed to our demands. So we have opted to boycott the polls," said Anand Ram, Gram Pradhan of Bacham. According to Tamta, who had adopted the village under Adarsh Gram Yojana announced by the prime minister, the state government did not cooperate in completing development schemes in the area.
"The proposal of the junior high school, which was to be upgraded as high school, has already been sent by me to the government committee concerned," said Tamta. According to Bageshwar District Magistrate Ranjana Rajguru, her teams have visited the village at least 15 times to persuade the villagers to call off the boycott.
However, the villagers refused to vote despite assuring that they would withdraw the poll boycott call, she said. Apart from this five other villages in Almora parliamentary constituency boycotted polling complaining road connectivity and communication facilities.
Villagers of Kanar, Kandadhar, Goyal, Quirijiniya, Sainpolu, Metili and Gandhinagar boycotted the polls. There are a total of 2,829 voters in these villages, said VK Jogdande, district election officer Pithoragarh. However after persuasion by the district administration a total of 43 residents of these villages voted, Jogdande said.
(With inputs from agencies.)