Surrounded by the Thar Desert in Rajasthan, villagers of Dhingana in Pali district of Rajasthan have decided to boycott the Lok Sabha polls as the villagers claim to have cheated and neglected by the government in the name of development.
Scarcity of water, poor condition of roads and no school for girls in the village are among the major issues contributing to the villagers' decision to abstain from voting.
"Boycotting elections was the last resort for us. The local administration has done nothing to solve the water crisis, issue of roads and schools. What is the use of selecting a government who doesn't solve our problem?" villagers said while speaking to ANI.
Drying up of lakes and thirsty cattle straying far and wide to post for water is a common sight in the area.
Describing the poor condition of the village, a resident Baldev Chaudhary said: "All drains have dried up due to the scarcity of rains. We are hardly left with any source of water to feed our cattle. They have to go thirsty for days and their survival is becoming very difficult."
"Administration does not hear our plea. We will boycott the election as we do not get basic facilities. Providing water tankers just before the election is not the solution. We want a permanent solution, which we have been demanding for last 3 years," he asserted.
Sohan Lal Panwar, a local Right to Information Act (RTI) activist, said: "The local administration gave a short term solution by providing water tankers for two months. Not only humans but also cattle get affected by the scarcity of water. By repeated pleas in front of the administration, we have decided by consensus that we will boycott the ongoing Lok Sabha election."
"Even after learning about our protest and the decision to boycott elections, no person has addressed our grievances," he said.
Underlying the need for proper infrastructure, Bhelaram Jaat said: "The conditions of roads is pathetic. We are unable to travel to far places. Nobody pays heed to our problems."
"Problem has persisted for last three to four years and no action has been taken by the authorities. Even after a foundation stone was placed in 2008 for a school, the land continues to remain barren. There is no secondary school in the area," he added.
All 25 parliamentary Lok Sabha constituencies in Rajasthan would go to polls in two phases -- April 29 and May 6. The counting of votes will take place on May 23.