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‘Elections hardly bring any qualitative change in our lives’

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Waiting for a change: These slum-dwellers in Belgaum consider elections an opportunity to get their problems solved.
Waiting for a change: These slum-dwellers in Belgaum consider elections an opportunity to get their problems solved.

Vijaykumar Patil

The educated voters see the development ‘unwelcome’

Belgaum: With elections to the State Assembly round the corner, all political parties are busy finalising their nominees and working out strategies to ensure their victory.

But the common man, who has no say in the decision to conduct elections, is still unable to comprehend why mid-term poll is being imposed on him.

Opportunity

While the educated voters see the development “unwelcome” as mid-term polls are a burden on the exchequer, poor families living in the slums consider it an opportunity to get promises to implement development works in their areas and solutions to many of their problems. Fifty-five-year-old Mahadevi Naganna Hulger is an illiterate.

She has an 18-year-old son and a 22-year-old daughter, who is yet to be married.

She works as a domestic help in three houses.

Her husband, Naganna (58), is a daily wager and earns up to Rs. 100 a day.

They are not concerned about elections as they feel that little is being done to control prices of essential commodities.

Naganna said that the people had realised that no government was concerned about the problems of the poor.

“But if elections are held, we will vote someone who will improve basic facilities in our colony,” he added.

Twenty-two-year-old Venkatesh Hanmanth Sunkappanavar, who works as a daily-wager after discontinuing studies, said: “We are fed up with the elections as they hardly bring any qualitative change in our lives.”

Requests

Pointing at the drainage in his colony, he said that the work on it had remained incomplete and requests to political leaders and the authorities concerned to complete it yielded no result.

There were nearly 700 families and 2,000 voters in the colony.

Many houses (built under various housing schemes) in the colony leaked during monsoon, owing to poor quality of construction work, he said.

Though these houses were allotted five years ago, many families were yet to get title deeds, he said.

“We cannot take independent decision when it comes to voting or other issues concerning the people of the colony,” said 50-year-old Marilinga Doddamani.

Decision

He said that all elders would sit together and decide in whose favour the families in the colony should vote.

The colony people were not bothered about national or State issues, but only about their problems, he said.

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