Threat to boycott Assembly polls

Staff Reporter

If no centre is set up in their village to photograph voters for identity cards

THENI: Residents of Eranampatti village panchayat in Bodi constituency have threatened to boycott forthcoming Assembly elections as district poll officials refused to set up an EPIC issuing centre in their village.

The officials had directed the residents to go to Pottipuram, two km away from Ernampatti, they alleged.

Ernampatti panchayat, comprising Bangarusamypuram, Muthaianchettipatti, Konampatti, Ernampatti and north colony, has a separate polling station.

The residents had submitted a petition to Uthamapalayam Revenue Divisional Officer S. Varadarajan requesting him to set up a centre in their village with more than 800 eligible voters to photograph them.

They also warned that if the officials failed to respond to what they wanted, they would not hesitate to boycott the election. Officials set up a common centre at Pottipuram covering a cluster of tiny villages surrounding it.

"When we have a separate polling station, why the officials are reluctant to set up a centre in our village. With no adequate transport facility, how can we go to that village to get photographed.

Above all, we have to sacrifice wage for a day for obtaining photo identity cards, they said in a petition.

With commencement of harvest in almost all villages, it would be difficult for voters, mostly agriculture labourers to spend a whole day to obtain an EPIC in an inaccessible neighbouring village.

Meanwhile, revenue officials have been discussing with district level officials in this connection.