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"Durga Nagar Tea Garden Voters Boycott Lok Sabha Elections Over Road Repair Concerns"

During the ongoing Lok Sabha elections, 767 voters in the Durga Nagar Tea Garden chose not to cast their votes due to dissatisfaction with their MLA, Mihir Kanti Shome of the BJP. The Udharbond Assembly constituency they belong to lacks a metalled all-weather road, causing daily issues for the tea tribe residents. Their boycott followed several unproductive visits to Shome's office and the District Administration.

Shome, along with other officials, visited the area to listen to residents' concerns and encourage them to vote. He attributed the boycott to an opposition conspiracy, deflecting blame from himself. Despite the polling staff's readiness at the 1110 No Durganagar Cha Bagan L P School, not a single vote was cast by afternoon, prompting the administration to intervene.

The locals demanded road repairs before voting and gathered to protest when the MLA arrived. They stressed the importance of a repaired road for their daily lives, especially for children and women facing hazardous conditions. Despite Shome's assurances that road repair work would commence soon, the residents remained unconvinced, citing a lack of trust in his promises.

Shome defended his actions, stating that road improvements had been initiated since his government took power in 2016. He mentioned that the tender for the 400-metre road had been approved during the rainy season in the 2023-24 financial year, and work would begin after current projects in Arkatipore concluded.

He alleged a conspiracy by opposition parties, claiming they were misleading residents into boycotting the vote. However, the situation raises questions about why the opposition would encourage a boycott instead of simply urging residents to vote against the ruling party.

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