TIRUPATI: Voters of B. Kothapalem in Chittamur mandal of Gudur assembly segment in Nellore district boycotted polling in the Tirupati Lok Sabha by-election in their area protesting against lack of proper road facility to their village.
According to villagers, they have been demanding that authorities lay a proper road to their village. Despite several representations to officials concerned, the issue has remained pending. Hence the villagers decided to boycott the by-poll.
Though officials made all arrangements for polling and appealed to voters that they exercise their franchise, none came forward. Following this, higher officials from Gudur revenue division held discussions with the villagers but to no avail.
In Chittoor district too, villagers of Uranduru, Kandriga, Narayana Puram, Dommara Palem and Panekaladu under Srikalahasti constituency and other segments also decided not to participate in polling. Speaking to media, they said they are boycotting polling against the state government’s decision to merge their villages with nearby municipalities.
“We all depend on farming and dairy animals. We are not in a position to pay taxes to municipalities. Despite several appeals, officials did not resolve our issues,” villagers said. They questioned why Renigunta, which is a town, has not been merged in Srikalahasti municipality.
Though officials and leaders of various political parties tried to convince villagers into voting, they did not budge.
Meanwhile, there have been reports of electronic voting machines (EVMs) malfunctioning at a few polling stations, which resulted in a brief delay in starting the polling process.