| Villagers at Gari Mahapur in Jhajha block show their old electricity bills. Picture by Amit Kumar |
The alleged failure of the government and an indifferent attitude of public representatives to address basic problems in Jamui’s villages have generated wide-scale resentment among the voters.
The residents of Rajoun have started raising their voice and are in a mood to boycott the polls on April 10. Some have even decided not to allow the candidates to campaign.
Being a rebel-hit district, the failure of the administration to expedite welfare schemes like special area development project, security-related expenditure and projects like Sarkar Aap Ke Dwaar and others has hit the people badly.
To compound matters for the political leaders and the government, the Maoists have started convincing the voters, especially the rural ones, to boycott the polls. According to sources, villagers of Rajoun are planning to boycott the Lok Sabha polls on April 10 for failure of the administration to build a permanent road.
The sources added that the village, with more than 2,000 voters, took a resolution to boycott the elections. For the past one-and-a-half years, the villagers pleaded with the administration to build a 5km road from Bishunpur Shiv temple to Rajoun village. “Around 15 months ago, the contractor assigned the job disappeared. You can realise the difficulties faced by the villagers,” said Chanda Singh, the mukhiya of the village.
Chanda’s husband Gita Nandan Singh said: “During the last monsoon, a delegation of villagers called on the district magistrate and other officials concerned and narrated their plight because of the bad condition of the road but nothing happened. No leader has the courage to visit this village for fear of the Maoists. We know boycotting the polls would hardly impact anyone but we don’t have any other option,” said Mustakim Ansari, a villager.
Another villager said: “We won’t allow anyone to campaign even though no leader would dare visit this place out of fear of the rebels.”
Like Rajoun, villagers in Gari Mahapur and Chapalwa, in Jhajha block, too, have decided to boycott the polls because of non-availability of electricity. Located around one-and-a-half kilometres from Jhajha beside the Ulai river, the village has more than 250 voters.
“Till the mid-1980s, we enjoyed undisrupted power supply. However, overhead poles were damaged because of storms and floods. In 2007, we approached the energy department and around 50 villagers deposited Rs 570 each for fresh connections. The department assured us of restoring the supply. But nothing happened and we have to live in the dark,” said Bhola Yadav, a senior citizen at the village.