Karnataka Assembly polls 2013: 4,000 Chitradurga villagers choose to abstain from voting
Zee Media Bureau
Bengaluru: Around 40,000 inhabitants of Dodda Ullarthi village in Chitradurga district have decided not to vote during the upcoming Karnataka Assembly polls.
Newspapers reported that the villagers live in constant fear of being evicted, hence the decision.
Villagers' future has been in doldrums ever since Karnataka government allocated 10,000 acres of Amritmahal Kaval grasslands in Challakere taluk of Chitradurga for setting up massive facilities of DRDO, Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, IISc, ISRO and a wide range of downstream defense related manufacturing facilities promoted by Indian and foreign transnational corporations.
Although the allocation took place in 2008, residents of 60 villagers in the area claim they were never informed of the take-over, the report added.
The villagers depend on the forest for firewood, fruits, graze cattle there.
The community has even filed a PIL in Karnataka High Court on this issue.
Environment support groups claim that the inhabitants were not consulted before the takeover, a move that could affect their lives and livelihood.
A Gram Panchayat member from Dodda Ullarthi village was quoted by the report as saying that more villages would soon be joining the 'no-vote' campaign.