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Out with EVM: Rajkot’s Kshatriya women find loophole to force ballot voting

Updated: Apr 13th, 2024

Kshatriya women file for candidature in Rajkot

With a week left for candidates to file their paperwork ahead of the Lok Sabha 2024 elections, Rajkot’s Kshatriya women have found a unique way to protest. 

The Rajkot constituency has been in the public eye since BJP candidate Parshottam Rupala allegedly made derogatory remarks against Rajput women in a campaign speech. Now, 100 of Rajkot’s Rajput women have picked up registration forms, with almost 300 more promising to join the fray if Rupala’s candidature is not withdrawn.

According to persons close to the development, the community aims to file 384 forms before the Apr 19 deadline. 

While 384 may seem an oddly specific number, it is the maximum number of candidates an electronic voting machine (EVM) can register. This means that any election in which there are more than 384 candidates will have to be carried out via ballot, district authorities explain. 

Those familiar with the issue say the women may have chosen this number so as to enforce ballot voting when Rajkot goes to the polls, along with the rest of Gujarat, on May 7.

Notably, the BJP is staunchly standing by veteran Rupala, who has since apologised for his comments from March 22. The saffron party has announced that no candidates will be changed in Gujarat.

Meanwhile, the Congress seems to be waiting for the last minute to announce its candidates for the seven Saurashtra seats.

So far, the opposition list includes names such as Dr Hemang Vasavada, Hitesh Vora, and Paresh Dhanani. However, insiders say the party plans to register candidates only after April 15, with some suggesting that the Congress is awaiting the BJP’s final call on Rupala before naming its Rajkot candidate.

Candidates from Gujarat will be able to register their candidature till Apr 19. Forms will be verified on Apr 20, and if a candidate wants to withdraw, they can do so till Apr 23, when all the candidates will be finalised.

Also read:

Ruckus in Rajkot: Kshatriya women continues to protest against Rupala

PM to the rescue? Modi likely to visit Rajkot on Apr 22