No Train, No Votes: Navsari’s 18 Villages Call For Poll Boycott

As all the political parties in Gujarat are gearing up for the state assembly election that is scheduled in the next month, the residents of Ancheli and 17 other villages of the Navsari assembly constituency have hung banners to boycott the polls and ban political leaders, including those from the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) from entering the villages for campaigns.

The reason they have decided to boycott the election is that their demand for stopping local trains at the Ancheli railway station has not been met yet.

The banners near the Ancheli Railway station and in the areas of the villages say, “Train nahi to vote Nahi (no train no votes). BJP or other political parties should not come for election campaigns. Our demands are not met, so we are boycotting the elections.”

“Here in the constituency people of at least 18 villages have boycotted this election. Their demand is for the stoppages of the train that used to stop here before Covid 19. People are facing issues as the ones who are regular passengers, they are forced to take private vehicles now and they have to spend almost 300 rs per day,” Hitesh Nayak, an adult said while talking to ANI.

A college student Prachi Patel said that she was facing problems in her study due to the issue as she had to leave one of her lectures in the morning.

Member of the Zonal Railway Users Consultative Committee (ZRUCC) Chhotubhai Patil said that no concerned people are responding to the issue.

“A local passenger train used to stop here since 1966 but it was stopped due to the Covid pandemic. After it restarted, it does not stop here at our station. People from at least 19 villages do up-down from here for their jobs and daily based earnings,” said Chhotubhai Patil.

“They are facing issues. We are not demanding the new one. We just want the same train, but still, the local administrators or representatives are not responding,” he further said.

Chhotubhai Patil said that the villagers have decided to send the Electronic Voting Machine (EVM) with no vote.

“We have decided to boycott this assembly election and we will send the EVM back all empty,” he added.

The elections will be held in two phases on December 1 and 5. The counting of votes will take place on December 8, which coincides with Himachal Pradesh’s result date.

BJP is in power in the state for the last 27 years and is considered as BJP bastion.

However, the Congress is also hoping to put its best electoral foot forward to unseat the BJP government.

The ruling party is seeking its seventh, straight term in power in the ensuing state polls. The state has been a BJP stronghold for a long and the party has set its sights on returning to power with a handsome majority this time as well.

However, it faces a stiff electoral challenge from the Arvind Kejriwal-led Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), which has named Isudan Gadhvi as its chief ministerial candidate.

BJP on Saturday released the second list of six candidates for the upcoming Gujarat Assembly elections.

In the second list of six candidates, BJP has given tickets to two women.

It has fielded Mahendrabhai Padaliya from Dhoraji, Mulubhai Bera from Khambhalia, Dheliben Maldebhai Odedara from Kutiyana, Sejal Rajiv Kumar Pandya from Bhavnagar East, Hitesh Devji Vasava from Dediapada (ST) and Sandeep Desai from Choryasi.

Earlier on Thursday, the BJP announced the first list of candidates for 160 candidates out of the 182 constituencies for the upcoming Gujarat Assembly elections.

The first list of 160 candidates includes 14 females, 13 from scheduled caste, 24 from the scheduled tribe and there are 69 candidates who have been repeated.

The Assembly elections are scheduled for December 1 and 5 in the State.

In the first round, 89 of the total 182 Assembly seats will go to polls and prominent political parties have declared their candidates for almost all these constituencies.

The BJP has drawn up a list of star campaigners for the upcoming Gujarat Assembly elections. Topping the list is Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The other prominent names on the list include BJP national president JP Nadda, Union Home Minister Amit Shah, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, Union Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari and fellow central cabinet colleagues Smriti Irani, Dharmendra Pradhan, Mansukh Mandaviya and Purushottam Rupala.

Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel, who is seeking a fresh mandate from the Ghatlodia Assembly segment, also features in the star campaigners list along with BJP state president CR Patil and state Home Minister Harsh Sanghvi. (ANI)

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