Andhra Pradesh

Chandragiri villagers ‘kept away’from voting for three decades

Voters air grievances to National SC,ST Commission member

K. Ramulu, member of National SC,ST Commission, was taken aback when voters of seven polling booths in Ramachandrapuram mandal of Chandragiri Assembly constituency confessed to have never seen a polling station or cast their votes in over three decades.

Mr. Ramulu, who came all the way from New Delhi on Tuesday, interacted with the residents who explained about how the caste leaders of these villages had systematically kept them away from exercising their franchise. Around 500 residents from Ravillavaripalle, Kammakandriga, N.R. Kammapalle, T.T. Kandriga, Ganeshwaripuram (Kothakandriga polling station), Kammapalle and Parakalva, belonging to the marginalised communities, aired their grievances, saying that even their grandfathers had not cast their votes. “They (the caste leaders) would simply mark our fingers with the (indelible) ink and send us out,” the villagers alleged.

Mr. Ramulu expressed concern over the manner in which 5,000 people had been deprived of democratic rights. “I have never heard of such mass boycott of SC,ST communities from voting,” he told The Hindu.

Welfare schemes elude

Not even one SC member from these villages is a beneficiary of the schemes offered by SC Corporation, he said.

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Printable version | Jul 11, 2020 8:27:38 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/chandragiri-villagers-kept-away-from-voting-for-three-decades/article26064681.ece

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