Uttarakhand’s Dangi village is witnessing a unique protest – villagers have decided to boycott this year’s assembly polls.
The village has been without a road for 14 years now.
Marching with banners that read ‘Road ni, toh vote ni’ (We will not vote till there are roads)’, villagers in Dangi are not alone in expressing their resentment. At least 50 other Uttarkashi villages are contemplating a boycott.
“The government does nothing for us. They mean nothing. They only care about the rich and powerful and suppress us. Why should we vote anybody to power,” Sushila Devi, a resident of Dangi told The Quint.
This is not the first time the village has decided to take a hard stand. They boycotted the 2014 General Elections for the same reason.
“The villagers vented out their anger and frustration on the Congress candidate Vijay Pal Singh Sajwan and BJP candidate Gopal Singh Rawat when they came to plead for votes. The villagers scolded them saying that they never built a road for them, so now they have no right to ask for votes. The candidates returned with pulled faces,” Abhishek Jagoodi, the man leading the protest in the village said in an earlier interview with The Times of India.
Though promises of ‘Vikas’ have featured in the Uttarakhand manifestos of both the BJP and the Congress, they mean nothing to angry Dangi residents.
“Our demand is clear. If a politician comes and gives it to us in writing that they will build a road, we will reconsider our decision. Till then, we will all wear black bands and stand united,” another villager told us.
Camera and Reporting: Ashutosh Singh
Producer: Hansa Malhotra
Editor: Ashutosh Bhardwaj