Migration & Violence, Issue Behind Poll Rate Decrease In Tea-Belt

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Jalpaiguri: Administrative sources revealed on Tuesday that the percentage of polling had declined in the tea belt of the Dooars, both in Jalpaiguri and Alipurduar districts.

The principal reason for this decline, stakeholders of the tea industry and political leaders said, was the migration of tea garden workers and their family members to other states in search of jobs.

As the administration released the voting percentage of different blocks on Tuesday, a day after the rural polls, it was found that in Malbazar block, the vote percentage was 79.70, while it was 84.20 in 2013. In a similar manner, the percentage has dropped to 80.14 per cent from 82.53 per cent in Matialli block and to 78.14 per cent from 80.97 per cent in Nagrakata block.

Similarly in Alipurduar, the percentage of polling has reduced in tea dominated blocks like Kalchini (from 80.58 per cent in 2013 to 77.54 per cent this year) and in Madarihat (from 80.24 per cent in 2013 to 75.75 per cent in this year). A section of tea trade union leaders, however, said violence was also to blame for the drop in the polling percentage.

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