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Gujarat polls: Special tribal booth at Jambur for India’s mini African village to vote in phase 1

Jambur (Gujarat): As the voting for the first phase of the Gujarat Assembly election begins on Thursday (December 1) in 89 out of the 182 seats spread across 18 districts of Gujarat, India`s mini African village will also be voting for the first time at a special tribal booth in Jambur village in Junagarh district. In this phase of polling, over 2 crore voters will decide the fate of 89 constituencies spread across 19 districts of Kutch, Saurashtra, and South Gujarat. 

At Jambur village, a senior citizen told ANI, “It is a matter of great pleasure for us that the Election Commission has decided to make a special booth for us to vote,” adding “we have been living in this village for years. But this is happening for the first time which makes us very happy. Our forefathers are from Africa and we came to India many years ago. When the fort was being built in Junagadh, our forefathers came here for work, First, we settled in Ratanpur village and then gradually settled in Jaanwar village. We have got the status of Siddhi tribal community.” Rahman said that despite the fact that our ancestors are from Africa, we follow the tradition of India and Gujarat. 

Also read: Gujarat Election: Voting for Phase 1 begins, 788 candidates in fray

Abdul Maguj Bhai, who contested as an independent from Talala, said that the local community suffer in the area, adding “The village is situated in the middle of two rivers. Everyone lives together here. I am contesting elections from here for the third time. We want that we should also go to the assembly. We get rights so that we can do more good work. We are called Africa of India. We are known as Siddhi tribal community. The government keeps on giving help to the tribals, there is no problem in that, but our local community suffers here, we do not get that much of facilities.”

Maguj Bhai further said, “We have talked to the government regarding the problems of the locals and have also given it in writing, but our community becomes a tribe here and everyone follows their own path, that`s why there is a problem. They defame the government without any reason,” adding that farming is the main occupation of the community.

Also read: Gujarat Phase 1 polling: A look at key candidates and constituencies

“Apart from farming, the people of our community perform local Jus Siddhi tribal dance. The programs are performed at various places, wherever tourists come. This is also our source of income,” Maguj Bhai added.

According to the Election Commission of India, a total of 39 political parties are contesting in the elections and have fielded 788 candidates including 718 male candidates and 70 women candidates. As many as 2,39,76,670 voters, including 1,24,33,362 males, 1,1,5,42,811 females and 497 from the third gender are eligible to vote in the first phase of Gujarat polls. 

Over 4 lakh PWD voters are eligible to cast their votes. Nearly 9.8 lakh senior citizen voters (80+) and about 10,000 voters, who are 100 and above, are eligible to vote, said the EC.

Notably, there has been a race among the political parties including Bharatiya Janata Party, Congress and Aam Aadmi Party for making poll promises. The ruling BJP is exuding confidence in retaining the 27-year-long rule in the state, while the Congress is desperate to save its second position in the state while Arvind Kejriwal`s AAP is making a gamble by trying to cash in on `anti-incumbency`. The AAP is raising issues like inflation and unemployment to get to power.

(With ANI Inputs)

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