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Election a non-issue in violence-hit Ichamati

Ichamati/Shillong: Election to the Shillong Lok Sabha seat is a non-issue in the violence-hit border village Ichamati as the worry of the villagers is about their livelihood.

Bono Singh, father of Insan Singh murdered on March 27 at Ichamati( MM)

During a visit to Ichamati, questions were asked about the April 19 polls to which the villagers said that promises will be made every time by the candidates and political parties “but they forget about them after the polls”.
A majority of the residents have voting rights but those who don’t have say that middlemen ask for money to provide election identity cards.

The family of Sujit Dutta at Ichamati. He was murdered on March 27 at Dalda ( MM)

The lack of interest in the polls is strengthened by the fact that many border villages close to Bangladesh are neglected by those who are in power irrespective of party affiliations, in terms of road connectivity, basic civic amenities and other infrastructure facilities. Jal Jeevan Mission is yet to reach several households here.

A road in Ichamati (MM)

The state election machinery is yet to make its presence felt to create awareness among the voters on various aspects of the polls.
The candidates or their supporters have not reached this part of the border area. The involvement of local MLA Balajied Synrem is negligible as the UDP and the HSPDP projected candidate Robertjune Kharjahrin for the Lok Sabha polls.
Many villagers are also not aware that the BJP is extending support to NPP as this major decision is yet to reach the area in the absence of proper communication from party functionaries.
The workers of the Congress and VPP, besides the independents, have also not visited the area.
To date, there are 1,741 voters — 932 male and 809 female —in Ichamati A & B polling stations under Shella Assembly constituency.

Main photo caption: People travel in a truck at Ichamati (MM)

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