Villagers from as many as 47 villages in the Etapalli taluka of the district have decided to boycott Lok Sabha elections to press for a separate state of Vidarbha, sources said here today.
Besides raising other important demands, the election boycott is also in protest against the administration not solving their basic problems. The decision which was taken by villagers during their meetings was declared today at a press conference by office bearers of Rashtriya Janhitavadi Yuwa Samiti. They also submitted a memorandum to the district collector today in this regard.
Problems of tribals in remote areas of Etapalli taluka have been ignored all these years and they are deprived of various welfare schemes, despite various agitations, due to which they have decided to boycott elections as a last resort, Samiti founder Suresh Barsagade told reporters.
Other demands raised by the Samiti are that a separate Aheri district be formed, forest rights be given to all encroachers, ownership rights of land sanctioned under forest rights be given to land holders, free and quality education be provided to students in tribal areas, lease of iron ore in the district should not be given to any private company and reservation to other backward castes (OBCs) be raised to 19%.