The residents of the fishermen villages of Kaikalur Assembly constituency have said a strict no to the money and other freebies offered by the candidates this election, apart from the durai (diktat) system which was quite in use to influence the voters. They vow to vote for the candidate who is willing to develop the lake-bed villages.
Several hamlets here are plagued with many civic issues such as lack of proper roads, drinking water supply, primary health centres, schools. But, the fishermen families living along the Kolleru lake are not ready to bow to any pressure or enticements this time. Now, the villagers have to cross Upputeru canal to fulfil their basic needs like fetching drinking water or to visit a hospital and boats are the only means of transport. “It is ironical that though we are surrounded by water, we travel long distance to fetch potable water. An overhead tank is there near our village, but water pipelines have not been laid to Pedda Kottada panchayat so far. We are urging the officials to lay a pipeline to our village,” says Venkata Ramana of Jangampadu village.
Deviating from the earlier practice of the community heads issuing a durai asking the residents to vote in favour of a particular party or a candidate, the villagers have decided to vote as per their own choices. “We voted for the TDP last time. But the local MLA did not solve any of our problems, ,” says Gurram Nagalakshmi.