Mehsana: All polling booths in Gozaria town of Mehsana district on Sunday wore a deserted look as locals boycotted the district and taluka panchayat elections to protest the non-declaration of the place as a separate taluka by the Gujarat government.
Though the polling started at 8 AM, not a single voter turned up at all the 10 polling booths in the town till noon.
Gozaria, in Mehsana taluka of the district, has a population of around 15,000 while the voter strength is around 10,000, said local leader Rajendra Patel.
"Gozaria meets all the criteria for being declared as a separate taluka. But due to some political reasons, it has not been declared yet. Though, in-principle proposal to make it a taluka has been granted twice over past few years by the government, but it has not been declared as a taluka yet," said Patel, a prominent local of Gozaria.
"Thus, we passed a resolution few days back to announce our boycott (of the local body polls). As a result, no one out of the total 10,000 voters of this town today cast their vote. This will send a strong message to the government," he said.
Meanwhile, a village in Amreli district of Saurashtra region also boycotted the polls to protest the lack of basic amenities.
Nearly 1,000 voters of Bhaniya village under Khambha taluka in Amreli refrained from exercising their franchise as a mark of protest. The locals have been demanding proper roads and other amenities for long.