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Doda, Ramban villagers threaten to boycott J&K polls

 Residents of around 14 flood-hit villages in Desa belt of Doda and Ramban Assembly seats have threatened to boycott the state elections after the local administration allegedly failed to provide them free ration.

PTI| Updated: Nov 22, 2014, 20:39 PM IST

Doda: Residents of around 14 flood-hit villages in Desa belt of Doda and Ramban Assembly seats have threatened to boycott the state elections after the local administration allegedly failed to provide them free ration.

"We were promised free rations after the floods wreaked havoc on us and damaged our standing crops, but for the past two months we have not received a single grain of that ration," Om Prakash, the Sarpanch of Malan village alleged.

He said that several villages of the Desa area that constitute the two assembly segments of Ramban and Doda lost around 90 per cent of their standing crop due to the floods.

"We have lost 90 percent of our yield and all the maize fields got destroyed due to massive soil erosion by the flood. Now we are totally dependent on government ration," the sarpanch said.

He alleged that despite repeatedly pleading to the officials of the Consumer Affairs and Public Distribution (CAPD) Department, they have "not received" any ration for the past two months.

He said that if the residents of the Desa area don't get ration they would be forced to starve in the coming days, as the winter months would close the highway.

"The people would starve to death in the winter months if they don't get ration before the highway is closed in winter," he said.

He said that the residents of around 14 villages in the area have decided to boycott the polls if they don't get ration in next two days.

The Doda and Ramban assembly constituencies of the Desa area are scheduled to go for polls on November 25.

Soon after the floods in the state, Chief Minister Omar Abdullah announced distribution of 50 kg of free rations to the flood-hit families, but the residents of the Desa belt allege that they have not received the promised free ration.

Ghulam Rasool Assistant Director CAPD Ramban who is holding additional charge of Doda said, "I was not aware of all this and we have to give 50 kgs of ration per ration card from October. And any official found guilty of not providing the said amount will be booked and strict action will be taken against the defaulter".

Deputy Commissioner Doda S V Meena accepted that he was aware of the situation and has initiated action in this regard.

"In the past too I have received complaints that the residents of these villages have not received the promised free ration. I have sent my ADC and tehsildar to the area to find out the actual position. We have also written to the divisional commissioner and the director CAPD and we will make sure that these people get their due," Meena said.

He said that action would be taken against any officer who was found guilty for not supplying the free ration to the flood-hit villages.