Campaigning banned, voting mandatory in this Gujarat village
Ahmedabad, Nov 23: While poll fever has gripped Gujarat, a small village in the state has been keeping away from all the drama that occur during the elections. Notably, campaigning is banned here and casting vote is mandatory.
Raj Samadhiyala village in Rajkot district is the place where political parties are barred from campaigning as the residents feel that it is detrimental to the region. The villagers are expected to follow the rules several rules and regulations framed by the Village Development Committee (VDC) failing which it will impose monetary fine.
Notably, it is mandatory for the eligible voters to cast their votes failing which the voters have to pay Rs 51 fine. The politicians are barred from entering the village since 1983.
"The rule of not allowing political parties to campaign in the village exists since 1983. No party is allowed to campaign here. The political parties are also aware of this belief that if they campaign in Raj Samadhiyala village they will be harming their prospects. It is compulsory for all the people of our village to vote otherwise Rs 51 fine is imposed on them. If someone cannot vote for any reason, they will have to take permission," ANI quoted the Sarpanch as saying.
Also, political parties too respect the villagers' decision knowing that if they try to forcibly enter the village their prospects will be harmed. However, if anyone cannot be able to exercise their right, they need to take prior permission. The village, which approximately has 995 residents, has been registering approximately 100 per cent voters turnout.
"Here in our village candidates are not allowed to campaign, so the people of our village give a vote to the leader whoever they think is good for them," a local told the news agency. Another local said that political parties are also not allowed to put up banners or distribute pamphlets.
"For the last 20 years I am voting here but campaigning is banned here and voting is compulsory here," said a local.
Localities have also claimed that this policy has now been adopted by five neighbouring villages.