Article Courtesy of Sneha Thakur & Priyanka Rathi|IBN Live|October 13, 2014|Share as Educational Material
Budaak: At a time when Haryana is witnessing a multi-cornered battle, voters of Budaak village in Hisar have decided to boycott the elections for the 90-member Assembly. The decision was taken by villagers in view of lack of drinking water facilities for the last 16 years.
The villagers have not allowed any party to campaign for the elections. They also did not take part in the updations of electoral rolls.
Mukhtiyar Singh, a resident of Budaak village, said, “We started our protest on September 27. We did not even allow Election Commission officials to distribute electoral rolls in our village.”
Around 2,700 voters including 1,300 women vowed not to take part in the elections. The village has a strength of 7,000 people and they have seemed to have lost faith in all parties.
The water is being brought from Rajasthan and Rs 700-800 is being paid for one tanker. Kamal, a villager, said, “Around Rs 30,000 is being spent everyday on water.”
Village Sarpanch Premvati said that none of the previous governments did anything for them and they were ditched by parties every time for votes.
She said, “None of the parties did anything for us. Our women have to travel long distance with pots full of water. We can afford only two glasses of water to bath.”
She added even though the village has raised the matter before the Congress, Haryana Janhit Congress and Indian National Lok Dal, all of them have put the responsibility of the issue on each others’shoulders.
The village has even lost faith in Prime Minister Narendra Modi. “No one came from the Narendra Modi government. While addressing a rally in Hisar, the issue was not even raised,” said the villagers.
Lack of water has also affected their income. “Earlier I used to have four to five buffaloes but now we can afford only one. Our farms are also suffering due to lack of water,” said a villager.
Anita Anand, a villager, said, “Sometimes we have to ask our neighbours for water but no one really help us.”
When asked how will take their fight forward, a villager said, “The agitation will continue. Villagers are most likely to sit on dharna on October 20.”
They have openly said that they will vote for the party which resolves their problem. Even though villagers voted in the Lok Sabha elections hoping for a better future, but now it looks blank. But with 2,700 votes deciding to boycott elections on the issue of water, it is clear that basic amenities still remain a very big stumbling block in our path.