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In Special Tribal Booth, Gujarat’s ‘Mini-Africa’ Set To Cast Vote For The First Time

As voting for the first phase of the Gujarat Assembly Elections began on Thursday, a “special-booth” nestled in Gujarat’s Jamubur village, also known as the “mini-Africa” of the state opened its door to voters for the first time.

Out of over 4 crore registered voters in Gujarat, the Siddi community of Jambur, that originates from the Africa will be voting in their own tribal booth for the first time this year.

In videos shared online, the voters from Jambur village, decked in their tribal attires, were seen celebrating an opportunity to exercise their right to vote.

The village has 3,481 voters, with over 90 per cent belong to the Siddi community.

“It is a matter of great pleasure for us that the Election Commission has decided to make a special booth for us to vote,” Rahman, a senior citizen of the village told news agency ANI.

According to Rahman, the Siddi community came to India when the Junagarh fort was being built during 1588-1593 BCE.

“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, ANI reported.

Polling for Gujarat’s first phase began at 8 am on Thursday in which 89 out of the total 182 seats across 19 districts of Saurashtra-Kutch region and southern parts of the state to decide the fate of 788 candidates.

Out of the total 4,91,35,400 registered voters in Gujarat, 2,39,76,670 are eligible to cast their votes in the first phase.

In total, there are 5.74 lakh voters in the age group of 18-19 years, and 4,945 above the age of 99 years who are eligible to cast their votes, the state CEO’s office said, according to PTI.

The voting is being held across 14,382 polling stations, of which 3,311 are in the urban and 11,071 in rural areas, the office of the state Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) said.

BJP which has ruled Gujarat for 27 years, is trying to retain power in the state for the seventh term in a row. If the saffron party wins,  it will equal the record of the Left Front government which won the West Bengal elections for seven consecutive terms till 2011.

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