Bihar man ostracised, fined for voting

May 9th, 2009 - 1:10 pm ICT by IANS  

Patna, May 9 (IANS) A man has been ostracised and fined Rs.15,000 for exercising his right to vote in Bihar’s Nalanda constituency. His neighbours boycotted the poll Thursday to protest lack of development.
Chinis Kumar, in his 30s, was the only voter who excercised his franchise Thursday despite a poll boycott call in three villages of Dharhara, Daudpur and Inayatpur in Nalanda, about 100 km from state capital Patna.

Kumar, a resident of Daudpur, angered the villagers by voting during the Lok Sabha elections.

Voters of three villages issued a poll boycott protesting against “non-development” in their villages.

“He (Kumar) was ostracised and a fine was imposed on him Saturday for going against collective decision of three villages to boycott the polls,” said Mukesh Prasad, another villager.

This was the first reported case in Bihar when a man was ostracised and fined for defying a poll boycott call.

According to an official in the state election department, voters issued a poll boycott at 22 polling stations to protest against the lack of development in their villages in Nalanda district, the home turf of Chief Minister Nitish Kumar.

Nalanda and Patliputra constituencies went to the polls May 7 in the fourth phase of the general elections.

In Nalanda, the contest is between Janata Dal-United’s (JD-U) Kaushalendra Kumar, who was handpicked by Nitish Kumar, and Lok Janshakti Party’s (LJP) Satish Kumar. Nitish Kumar seems confident of victory and had been seeking votes for Kaushalendra Kumar, highlighting the development work he carried out as chief minister.

Last week Nitish Kumar faced a protest by angry villagers in Nalanda during his election campaign. As soon as he finished a campaign speech, hundreds of people shouted slogans against him and his government for failing to construct a bridge, a long awaited demand.

The slogan was: “Pul nahin to vote nahin, hum apko haraenge” (No bridge, no vote, we will defeat you).

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