Five Haryana villages may boycott elections

Even as the curtains were drawn on campaigning for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections in Haryana slated for April 10 on Tuesday, the residents of five villages whose several hundred acres were acquired for setting up of a Special Economic Zone by Reliance India Limited are yet to make up their mind on whether to exercise their franchise or not.

While one of the villages, Gadoli Khurd, has largely decided to boycott the election as a mark of protest, the remaining four want to exercise their right to vote.

Over 1,300-acre belonging to five villages--Gharoli Khurd, Harsaru, Mohammadpur, Khandsa and Narsinghpur—was acquired by the Haryana Government in 2006 for setting up SEZ and handed over to Reliance.

Though several hundred families across the five villages were affected due to land acquisition, Ghadoli Khurd bore the brunt with the RIL building over seven-foot wall around the village cutting it off from the neighbouring villages.

“The process of land acquisition was initiated by the Chautala government and completed by the Hooda government. So who should we vote for? We cannot even vote for BJP’s Rao Inderjit Singh, who was in the Congress till weeks before the election and did nothing to help us while being our MP. And voting for AAP is sheer wastage.

“We have, therefore, decided at a panchayat meeting to boycott the election,” said Kamal Singh, whose 38 acres were acquired.

Gharoli Khurd-resident Ram Kumar, a former panchayat member, said the land acquisition has rendered many jobless.

“Neither did we get enough compensation nor the promised jobs. Our village is worst affected with a boundary wall around it and foul-smelling drains flowing on both sides.”

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