NIMAGAON (CHIRANG), Dec 4 - A widow, Maloti Kisku (35), does not know who she will vote for this time in the Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC) polls. She is a resident of Nimagaon (Batabari), an Adivasi village under no.13 Chirang council seat, reserved for Scheduled Tribe candidates, in Chirang district.
She was sitting idle just in front of her dilapidated hut and her 10-year-old daughter Premika was standing beside her. Maloti, a wage earner, has been facing hardships to bring up her daughter and a eight-year-old son Bisti. She occasionally gets manual work in and outside the village.
She got only a toilet under a government scheme recently. She received a job card under Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) three years back. But she has not got any work under the scheme so far.
She had applied for a ration card under the Public Distribution System (PDS), but the local ration dealer has kept the card with him. When she asked for her card, the dealer demanded Rs 100 for it, she alleged.
She does not get widow pension as well. Her children have left school because they guard their hut when their mother goes out in search of work.
The Sidli Village Council Development Committee (VCDC) under which the village falls did not feel the need to grant this poor widow a house under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojna (Grameen).
Her ailing husband had expired three years back. Since then, her struggle to survive with her two kids began. �Leaders and party workers with election symbols � Lotus (BJP), Plaugh (BPF) and Tractor (UPPL) came to our village for seeking our support. I don�t know whom to support, I will only follow what my village head decides on the day before the poll,� she said.
Sumika Soren (30), a mother of 2-year-old baby, had to stay in her mother�s house in Nimagaon. Her husband had abandoned her two years back when her baby was three month old. Her mother Phulmoni Tudo (55) earns her livelihood working as a labourer. This poor family has received no ration card, government house, toilet, job cards, old- age pension and benefits of other schemes.
Many natives of this village have been deprived of their due rights and living here like �second class� citizens of the country. The road which connects the village with Dholagaon in Sidli area is lying in a poor state.
The village has over 600 voters. They will support a candidate for the ensuing council poll as per the instruction of village head Som Soren. �According to the decision of the village heads of 30 Adivasi-Santhal villages, I will ask my village people to support that particular party�s candidate,� said Som Soren.
Alok Basumatary (BJP), Saikhong Basumatary (BPF), Maoti Brahma Hajowary (UPPL), Phoolmoti Basumatary (VPI) and Biddut Sarania (Independent) are the contenders in no.13 Chirang council seat. Maoti Brahma Hajowary was the last sitting council member from the seat.