Three villages in Gujarat boycott Lok Sabha polls over pending issues with govt

Ahmedabad, May 7 (PTI) Around a thousand voters from across three villages in Gujarat boycotted voting in the Lok Sabha polls on Tuesday, while those in as many other villages partially stayed away from the process over their unfulfilled demands from the government, officials said.

The Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) said that as per the preliminary information, the voters of Kesar village in Bharuch district, Sanadhara in Surat district and Bhakhari in Banaskantha district completely boycotted voting, while the voters at Bhatgam village in Junagadh district, and Bodoli and Kunjara villages in Mahisagar district boycotted it partially.

Sanadhara village falls under Bardoli Lok Sabha seat and has 320 voters.

As per the Election Commission report, none of the 320 voters cast their votes over certain outstanding issues even as the local poll administration and representatives of political parties tried to persuade them to come out and exercise their franchise.

Around 300 voters in Bakhri village that falls under Patan parliamentary constituency also decided to collectively boycott voting in protest against division of their gram panchayat.

Despite persuasion, they remained steadfast in their decision to not exercise their voting right.

Poll preparations were made since early morning, but the villagers did not turn up for voting even as polling officers kept waiting. Villagers are aggrieved over the division of their gram panchayat, they said.

Even the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) candidate Bharatsinh Dabhi reached the village and requested them to join the poll process, but to no avail.

Around 350 voters in Kesar village of Bharuch district also remained adamant on their decision to not cast their votes and by the end of the day not a single vote was cast.

This was not the first time that the voters had boycotted their votes. They have done so in the past as well, as their demands to build a bridge over a river has not been fulfilled by the government despite repeated demands, locals said.

Polling for 25 out of the total 26 Lok Sabha seats in Gujarat were held in a single phase on Tuesday. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has won the Surat seat unopposed.

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