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Solitary Voter: Gir Forest Poll

Special Polling Station; For A Single Voter In A Gir Forest

With the impending elections set for Gujarat, scheduled in two phases
during the initial week of December, and the results due for counting
alongside Himachal Pradesh on December 8, an intriguing facet of this
electoral event is the creation of a polling station tailored for a solitary voter.
Situated in the National Gir Forest, this unique station will be managed by a
team of 15 individuals.

The calendar for the Gujarat assembly elections has been unveiled,
earmarking polling days on December 1 and 5. Votes will be tabulated on
December 8 in synchronization with Himachal Pradesh. In conjunction with
the electoral agenda, Chief Election Commissioner Sanjay Kumar has
unveiled plans for ensuring 100 percent fear-free voting. Notably, a singular
polling station is in the works, exclusively for a single voter within the Gir
forest of Gujarat. Gujarat boasts a total of 182 assembly seats, the voting
for which will occur across two phases. Approximately 4.9 crore voters are
anticipated to exercise their democratic rights. Remarkably, the election’s
distinctive feature lies in the commission’s intent to establish a polling booth
catering to a sole voter. The comprehensive arrangement encompasses
the establishment of 51,782 polling stations throughout Gujarat.
Significantly, a decisive move has been taken to set up a polling booth
exclusively for Bharatdas Darshandas Bapu, the sole resident of Danej
village situated within the Gir forest of Gujarat. A dedicated team of 15
individuals will facilitate the voting process for this lone voter. The Election
Commission elucidated that due to Bharatdas’ preference not to leave his
village for casting his vote, a custom polling booth and attendant team will
be dispatched to accommodate his participation.

It’s noteworthy that a similar precedent was established during the 2019
Lok Sabha elections when a specialized polling station was arranged for
Bharatdas Bapu within the Gir Forest. The distinctive polling booth catered
to Bharatdas Bapu, the custodian of an ancient temple within the Junagadh
district’s Gir Forest. Danej, his village, tucked away within the expanse of
Gir, remains off-limits to outsiders.

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