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Bypoll: Local issues on voters’ mind

Drug menace, lack of civic amenities on priority list of electorates

Bypoll: Local issues on voters’ mind

Waste dumped near an overflowing sewer in Jalandhar. Malkiat Singh



Tribune News Service

Aakanksha N Bhardwaj

Jalandhar, July 9

In the Jalandhar West Assembly segment, lack of civic amenities and drug menace were among the major issues for voters during the recently held parliamentary elections. In the din of national politics, local issues could not quite find the resonance that they deserved.

Girls feel unsafe

Youngsters are falling prey to drugs. It feels unsafe and girls cannot even go out of their houses in their own colony in the evening. Politicians also don’t do anything in this regard — Divya, a first-time voter from Basti Guja

With Jalandhar West bypoll to be held tomorrow (Wednesday), those issues have come back to haunt the political parties. Even Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann is camping here with his family. As reports have suggested, the civic body is also pulling out all stops to resolve public grievances.

Despite doing their utmost, parties and leaders are yet to resolve old issues that continue to trouble the voters of the area.

A month ago, elderly persons living in Basti areas of the city had voted in the hope of seeing an end to the drug menace and unemployment. They said they had cast their votes in the belief that the elected lawmakers would take some steps to ameliorate the situation.

Basti Nau, Basti Danishmanda, Basti Guja and Basti Sheikh are among the oldest, congested and heavily populated areas of the city. Polling booths in Bastis are always considered vulnerable due to the large number of voters. Paramilitary forces are also deployed at every booth.

Suresh, 27, who is from the Basti Sheikh area, said sewerage-related issues were making their lives hell. “Leaders should come here and have a look at our ‘galis’. These narrow lanes will tell them about the actual problem,” he said.

A first-time voter, Divya from Basti Guja, had earlier said: “Youngsters are falling prey to drugs. It feels unsafe and girls cannot even go out of their homes in their own colony in the evening. You can see what kind of environment we are living in. Politicians also don’t do anything in this regard”.

A 65-year-old elderly person from Basti Danishmanda said he had spent all his years in the Basti. “I have grown old living amidst the same old issues, but they never got resolved,” he said.

A woman in her 40s from the area also laid emphasis on tackling the drug problem. “First of all, the drug menace should be checked. It is scary and problematic,” she said.

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The Tribune News Service brings you the latest news, analysis and insights from the region, India and around the world. Follow the Tribune News Service for a wide-ranging coverage of events as they unfold, with perspective and clarity.

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