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Voters put up banners to make their voice heard

Voters put up banners to make their voice heard

Residents living in makeshift tents at Latifpura call for boycott of the Lok Sabha poll in Jalandhar on Saturday. Tribune Photo



Tribune News Service

Avneet Kaur

Jalandhar, May 25

In Jalandhar (reserved) Lok Sabha constituency, it’s not just the politicians who are grabbing the headlines. Voters have emerged as the real power brokers, challenging candidates and bringing their grievances to the forefront.

This surge in voter activism has led to candidates avoiding certain areas, fearful of backlash and potential embarrassment.

In rural regions, the BJP’s leaders are steering clear of areas where farmers, frustrated by unmet demands, have posted banners declaring them unwelcome. Urban neighbourhoods like Shivay Nagar in Basti Danishmanda and Guru Nanak Pura, plagued by long-standing issues of contaminated water, are equally defiant, pledging to withhold their votes unless basic needs are met.

Latifpura offers the most poignant example of voter defiance. Affected residents have been living in makeshift tents for over 18 months after their homes were demolished in 2022. Despite initial support from Opposition political figures like Sukhbir Singh Badal, Amarinder Singh Raja Warring, Sukhpal Singh Khaira and Vijay Sampla, no candidate this election cycle has visited or addressed their calls for rehabilitation.

In response, Latifpura residents have prominently announced a poll boycott and have put up a big banner in the area declaring the same.

Government employees, particularly teachers disillusioned by the National Pension Scheme (NPS), are also making their voices heard. Frustrated by political silence on the issue, they have distributed pamphlets and posted signs outside their homes declaring their demands.

It reads: “I am a government employee affected by the new pension scheme, having been recruited after 2004. My old pension benefits have been taken away. The only leader who can restore my old pension should come to my house to ask for my vote.”

Political analysts observing these developments note a significant shift. “Voters are becoming increasingly astute,” they say. “Candidates can no longer rely on empty promises and self-proclaimed achievements. While urban voters might be less engaged, those directly affected by government policies are making their voices heard, especially during elections when they feel their concerns are most likely to be addressed.”

About The Author

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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