With the Election Commission ordering repoll in two booths of Vadgam constituency, the two main candidates — Congress-backed Independent candidate Jignesh Mevani and BJP’s Rakesh Vagmar will be keeping a close eye on the voting on Sunday.
“Our team is ensuring villagers are told to vote on December 17. We will ensure that this time, there is fool-proof polling. We will check the EVMs, and our supporters will be outside the polling booths to ensure that there is no problem,” Jignesh Mevani told The Sunday Express over the phone.
On December 14, polling was suspended in two booths (booth numbers 112 and 113) of Chhaniyana village in Vadgam after ink marks were found on the EVMs close to Melani’s election symbol. BJP candidate Vijay Chakravarty and his supporters protested and did not allow villagers to vote. At the time of the suspension of the poll, 744 of the total 1,920 voters had cast their votes. Later, both the candidates sought for repoll in the village.
On Friday, the Election Commission ordered repolling in six booths where polling was held on December 14 during the second phase. “I think there are roughly 1,500 voters in Chhaniyana village. We are glad that repolling has been ordered. We will make sure that on Sunday there is no problem. Our team is working hard to tell villagers that the voting is starting afresh. We will keep an eye and make sure that there is nothing wrong with the EVMs this time,” said Rakesh Vagmar of the BJP. BJP candidate Chakravarty, however, refused to comment.
Vadgam, an SC reserved constituency, has a majority of Chowdhary community members followed by the Dalits. Vadgam taluka in Banaskantha district has a population of 2.40 lakh as per the 2011 Census with the SC constituting 16.2 percent population, while ST 2.5 percent.