Will poll boycott offer solutions to problems in Kodagu?

Jeevan Chinnappa

Some have threatened to boycott poll over roads

CNC is demanding a Kodava autonomous homeland

Madikeri: With the second phase of Lok Sabha elections in Karnataka less than 10 days away, a few organisations in the Kodagu have threatened to boycott elections over different issues, but they are unanimous over the issue of development of roads in the district.

The Codava National Council (CNC) declared two months ago that it would boycott the Lok Sabha elections in protest against the apathy of the State and the Union Governments which had not conceded its demands in the last 17 years. Boycott is only to express the resistance by the CNC in support of its demands, N.U. Nachappa, secretary general of the CNC, has said. The election boycott would continue till the demands are met, he said.

The main demand is to pave the way for the creation of a Kodava autonomous homeland, on the lines of the Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council. Some of the other demands include according ethno-linguistic minority status to the Kodavas making them eligible for reservations in all spheres, establishment of the Central Kodava University, including the Kodava language in the VIII Schedule of the Constitution and so on. The Kodagu Western Ghats Inhabitants Liberation Organisation, led by Ravi Thammaiah, has given a call for boycotting the elections covering the villages of Kalur, Devasthur, Mukkodlu, Hachinad, Hammiyala, Mutlu, Kumbaragadige and surrounding hamlets. The State and the Union Governments have refused to heed to the pleas of the inhabitants in the Western Ghats, he alleged. There was no power supply, road connectivity, telecommunication facility, water supply, transport facilities, schools, hospitals in those villages even after six decades of Independence. Protests organised by the organisation have gone unheeded, Mr. Thammaiah alleges. A group of residents from Sannapulikotu village, near Bhagamandala, rallying under the “Cauvery Raste Horata Samiti”, have given a poll boycott call to protest against the lack of development of roads.

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