Tribals in Siliguri call for poll boycott

Siliguri (WB), Mar 11 : Miffed with the State Government for not accepting their demand for a separate constituency for the tribals in Siliguri, a tribal outfit has called for boycott of the coming general elections.

The Akhil Bharatiya Adivashi Vikash Parisad (ABAVP) of the Terai Doars has called for poll boycott. If the demands, which they have put before the State Government on the developmental issues, aren’t fulfilled by March 31, the boycott will come into force, they threatened.

Majority of the tribals residing in the Terai Doars region according to reports support the boycott call.

According to the General Secretary of ABAVP, Rajesh Lakra, the tribals of the region are fed up with the indifferent attitude of the Government.Our demand is reopening of the closed tea gardens, second is to provide a patch of land to every tribal living near tea gardens, the national highway 31 to be made on the same route and in the end to create a separate reserve constituency for the tribals in the Doars and Terai region. If our demands will not be fulfilled then we will not caste our votes," said Lakra.

The tribals feel that it was no use casting their votes, as their lot has not improved.

"We have no facilities, we want a separate patch of land for the tea gardens. If we do not get these facilities then it is no use casting our votes. We haven’t received any benefit even after casting our votes," said Kabita Kujur, a worker.

Most of the people of Terai Doars region are dependent on tea gardens and agriculture for their livelihood.

Moreover a number of the tea gardens are being closed or are abandoned by the owners. Nearly 12,500,000 people who were dependent on this particular industry are left jobless.