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Uttarakhand locals threaten to boycott upcoming polls

Locals in Uttarakhand''s Amritpur town on Monday threatened to boycott the upcoming legislative elections complaining about the delay in construction of a bridge connecting the area to the city.
 
According to the locals here, a bridge connecting the villages surrounding Amritpur to the main city broke in the last monsoon season in the month of August.

The villagers blame that the administration has not taken any step to repair the bridge.

Devki Devi, a local said that if the repair work does not start on time, all 500 people from her village will not cast their votes.

"We will cast our vote only when the bridge is constructed. We are demanding that construction work should start before polls, only then we will cast our votes. If the work starts on time, we all would go at any cost, other wise all the 500 voters from our village will not go to the polling booth," she said.

Several villages in Uttarakhand''s Nainital District are located across Gola river and the bridges are the only connecting source between the cities and these villages.

Slamming the local administration, Revadhar, a local, said that the villagers are not left with any choice but to boycott the polls.

"I think that we have tried to get the construction many times, but we have always failed. We are not getting any assurance that the reconstruction will start soon. And now we are forced to say that we are boycotting the elections. We want the funds for reconstruction to be allotted very soon and the work should immediately start," he said.

According to Prem Ballabh, member of the local Block Development Council, Amritpur, the children have been unable to go to schools.

"The children from our village are deprived from school as the bridge is damaged. Also, under any situation, we are unable to take a pregnant woman to a hospital. There is no way to commute from the village. Neither a mid-wife, nor a nurse can come to the village during an emergency situation. If the woman is lucky enough, she would survive, or she would die," he said.

The Election Commission has announced a seven-phased poll in Uttar Pradesh between February 4 and 28, while assembly elections in Punjab, Uttarakhand, Manipur and Goa will be held in a single-phase. 
 
Punjab and Uttarakhand will go to polls on January 30, while it will be held on January 28 in Manipur and on March 3 in Goa. The filing of nominations will begin on January 4 in Manipur
 
The counting of votes in all the five states will be held together on March 4. (ANI)

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