Voting Boycotted By Residents Of Puvarti Village In Bastar, Know Why

The Phase 1 of the Lok Sabha Elections 2024 took place yesterday with voting in constituencies across 21 states. While voter turnout was being calculated for every constituency and state, the turnout in Puvarti village in Bastar, Chhattisgarh was ZERO. Know why…

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New Delhi: The most-awaited and biggest political event of India, the Lok Sabha Elections 2024 have already begun and we are done with the first phase of voting on April 19, 2024; the voting in the first phase happened in multiple constituencies of 21 states. While the Lok Sabha Elections 2024 Phase 2 will take place on April 26, voting turnouts are being calculated and analysed for the first phase. It was seen that the turnout in a village in Maoist-hit Bastar, Chhattisgarh was ZERO; this village is the Puvarti village, where not a single resident turned up to cast their vote. Why was voting boycotted in Chhattisgarh village, read to know all about it…

Voting Boycotted In Puvarti Village Of Bastar

While the residents of several remote villages in Chhattisgarh’s Bastar Lok Sabha constituency defied the poll boycott call given by Maoists and exercised their franchise on Friday, people from Puvarti village, the native place of a hardcore Maoist leader, chose to stay away from the electoral process. Polling was held in the Bastar Lok Sabha seat on Friday and a voter turnout of 67.56 per cent was recorded there. “No voters from Puvarti village exercised their voting right during polling on Friday,” Booth Level Officer (BLO) of Puvarti polling booth Java Patel told PTI.

Why Were No Votes Cast In Puvarti Village?

Puvarti, a Maoist-stronghold in Sukma district bordering Bijapur district, is the home village of dreaded Naxalite leader Hidma, who is believed to be the mastermind of several deadly attacks on security forces in Bastar region. Some officials said the villagers did not cast their vote out of fear. The Puvarti polling booth (No. 4), meant for voters of three villages – Puvarti, Tekalgudiyam and Jonaguda – was set up in Silger village, around 20-25 kms away from Puvarti.

The number of voters in Puvarti is 332, Tekalgudiyam 158 and Jonaguda 157 – which comes to a total of 547 voters for Puvarti booth, he said. Total 31 voters cast their votes at Puvarti polling booth, but none of them was from Puvarti village and were from Tekalgudiyam and Jonaguda, he said. In Bastar Lok Sabha seat, Konta assembly constituency which covers Sukma district recorded 54.31 per cent turnout. Jagargunda area committee of Maoists had put up banners in Puvarti in adjoining villages appealing people to boycott polls.

Puvarti, A Highly Naxal-Affected Area

In February this year, the Chhattisgarh police set up its camp in Puvarti and the move was termed as a major achievement for security forces in the fight against Left Wing Extremism. Located in a dense forest around 150 km away from Sukma district headquarter, Puvarti has been deprived of development works and basic facilities due to the Naxal menace and geographical circumstances, officials had said.

Setting up of security camps in remote and highly Naxal-affected areas like Puvarti will help thousands of villagers to get rid of the Maoist menace and get benefited with development works and welfare schemes of the government, they had added. Notably, Puvarti is the home village of former commander of Maoists’ PLGA (people’s liberation guerilla army) battalion number 1 Hidma and incumbent commander Barse Deva. Maoists’ Peoples’ Liberation Guerilla Army (PLGA) battalion no. 1 formation has been instrumental in carrying out several deadly attacks in south Bastar.

Lok Sabha Elections 2024 Schedule

Lok Sabha Elections 2024 are being conducted in a total of seven phases and the first phase is being conducted on April 19 during which 102 constituencies of 21 states will be casting their vote; phase 2 will take place on April 26 with voting in 89 constituencies across 13 states; third phase on May 7 with voting in 94 constituencies of 12 states; phase 4 on May 13 with voting in 96 constituencies across 10 states, 20th May is the date for phase 5 when voting will take place in eight states at 49 constituencies, the sixth phase will take place on May 25 with polling in 57 constituencies of seven states and the last phase will be on June 1 with voting in 57 constituencies across eight states. The counting of votes will happen on June 4, 2024.

(Inputs from PTI)

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