Lone voter from Gir Forest casts vote in Banej

Gir (Gujarat): The Election Commission of India (ECI) set up a polling booth for Mahant Bharatdas Bapu, who resides inside Gir Forest, to cast his vote on Tuesday in the third phase of the Lok Sabha elections.

Two days ago, around five polling officers, including police personnel travelled 70 kilometres inside the dense forest to set up a polling booth at Banej its lone voter, Bapu.

Situated in Somanth district, Banej is part of Junagadh Lok Sabha constituency, which witnessed polling today along with 25 other Lok Sabha seats in Gujarat.

Bapu received a warm welcome at Banej with a beautiful bouquet of flowers.

“Government spent a lot in setting up the polling booth. People should come out and vote in large numbers. I never miss out a chance to exercise my vote. The election team especially came here for me and it shows that every vote matters. I am happy to tell you that this booth has a distinction of registering 100 per cent voter percentage,” Bapu said while speaking to ANI.

“I am proud that I have voted in all the assembly and Lok Sabha elections held since 2007. I would urge all the voters to participate in the largest festival of democracy,” he asserted.

The 69-year-old appealed the government to provide proper roads, electricity and drinking water to people so that they do not face problems.

While setting up the booth at the forest department building, the polling officials encountered difficulties such as lack of mobile network. They also had to stay at the booth till 6 pm as per the guidelines issued by the EC.

In Gujarat, 371 candidates are in the fray for 26 Lok Sabha seats, while 45 candidates are in the fray for by-poll in four Assembly seats.

More than 4 crores 41 lakh voters including 2 crores 14 lakh female voters are eligible to cast their vote in Gujarat. More than 51,000 polling stations have been set up in the state.