The voters of Pudur and Padidempadu in Kurnool district have decided to boycott the panchayat elections scheduled to be held in the second phase on February 13, as part of their protest against the lack of proper road connectivity to their villages and the political apathy towards solving the issue.
Even as the nomination process began on Tuesday, none filed the papers from these villages after the residents campaigned against participating in the elections.
According to Kodepogu Mahesh, a resident, a common black-top approach road in a stretch of 5.4 km for the two villages in Kodumur Assembly constituency was sanctioned some seven years ago is yet to be completed and it is a challenge to reach the hospital in the nearest city.
“As many as 10 persons have died as ambulances could not reach the villages in time. It has become a herculean task for the pregnant woman to travel on the extremely bumpy road in an auto-rickshaw,” Mr. Mahesh said.
The villagers allege that successive governments and the MLAs who represented Kodumur constituency —TDP’s M. Mani Gandhi (former) and YSRCP’s Jaradoddi Sudhakar (incumbent)—have done nothing not in this regard.
“The road was sanctioned at an estimated cost of ₹5 crore. The contractor stopped the work midway in 2018 saying that another ₹2 crore was needed to complete the project. Since then, there has been no words from either from the officials or the people’s representatives,” said K. Raju, a B.Tech student.
“The TDP and YSRCP governments have been boasting of their achievements. Many households in the two villages do not toilets. Given the situation, what is the meaning of elections and casting votes?” he asked.
Some residents said that political parties were doing the rounds of the villages to woo them to fight the panchayat elections and offering to foot the poll expenses. “ We have decided not to cast vote even as some people file nomination papers,” they said.