Jaipur's Palawala Jatan village boycotts polls

Villagers in Rajasthan’s Palawala Jatan have chosen to boycott the ongoing elections to express their discontent with local public representatives

November 25, 2023 09:00 pm | Updated 10:19 pm IST - JAIPUR

Women wait in queues to cast their votes at a polling station during Rajasthan state assembly election in Ajmer, India.

Women wait in queues to cast their votes at a polling station during Rajasthan state assembly election in Ajmer, India. | Photo Credit: REUTERS

As people queue outside polling booths across Rajasthan to cast their votes, the villagers of Palawala Jatan have boycotted the elections as a show of resentment towards public representatives in the area. The boycott is due to their demand to connect Palawala Jatan to Toonga. Since the start of the polls, not a single villager had arrived at the booth to vote.

These villagers have boycotted the last seven elections as well. Angered by the state government's indifference, official apathy and inaction of public representatives in solving their problems, the villagers of Palawala Jatan boycotted the elections.

In the visual polling booth, number 155 can be seen completely deserted, as not a single villager has turned up to vote since morning. SDM, ACP Fulchand Meena and the police force can be seen on the spot in the visuals.

Rajasthan recorded 40.27% polling for 199 assembly constituencies till 1.30 p.m., the Election Commission informed on Saturday. Voting began at 7 a.m. after days of hectic campaigning by major political parties, including the ruling Congress and BJP.

However, polling for the Karanpur assembly constituency was adjourned following the death of Congress candidate Gurmeet Singh Koonar. Voters, who lined up outside their booths as the polling process got underway on Saturday, can cast their votes until 6 p.m. Adequate security arrangements have been made to ensure peaceful and fair elections, the polling officials informed earlier. A total of 1,02,290 security personnel have been deployed to ensure peaceful voting, an official said. As many as 69,114 police personnel, 32,876 Rajasthan Home Guard, Forest Guard, and RAC personnel, and 700 companies of CAPF have also been deployed to ensure free and fair polling, he added.

The ruling Congress is eyeing another term, while the BJP is seeking to replace the Ashok Gehlot government, banking on the popularity of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Prominent candidates in the fray include Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, former CM Vasundhara Raje, former Deputy CM Sachin Pilot, Congress national spokesperson Gourav Vallabh, Union Minister Rajyavardhan Rathore, Vishwaraj Singh Mewar, Rajasthan Assembly Speaker C.P. Joshi, and Rajasthan LoP Rajendra Rathore.

Many rebel candidates of the BJP and Congress withdrew their names after being persuaded to do so. But still, about 45 rebel candidates from both parties are in the fray. These also include MLAs, former MLAs, and party officials.The counting of votes has been scheduled for December 3.

In 2018, the Congress won 99 seats, while the BJP finished a close second at 73. Gehlot took the oath as CM with the support of BSP MLAs and Independents.

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