Every vote has a value in elections.
Every voter is lucky. Rajasthan Assembly Speaker CP Joshi is once again contesting from Nathdwara seat of Rajsamand district. He registered consecutive victories but how can Joshi forget the 2008 election results, when he lost the election by just one vote. The power of one vote was discussed a lot for the first time in 2004, when R. Dhruv Narayan was ahead of his rival by just one vote.
The Election Commission makes every effort to ensure that every voter exercises his rights. He has even arranged for a separate polling booth for just one voter in Una block of Junagadh district of Gujarat. In 2004, Charangattu center falling under Badakara Lok Sabha and Perambra assembly seats of Kozhikode district of Kerala had only one voter. After the death of this voter in 2007, a newspaper published a news titled “Death of a polling station”.
That first victory by one vote in an election with more voters!
There have been reports of victory or defeat by one vote in elections with less voters, but in the 2004 Karnataka assembly elections, the decision on one seat by a margin of one vote had made a lot of headlines. Former Kerala Governor B. on Santhamerahalli seat. Ramaiah’s son AR Krishnamurthy is defeating his rival R. Was defeated by Dhruvnarayan by one vote. Excitement and excitement were at their peak during the counting of votes. Both the candidates were going back and forth in a close and tough contest. After Dhruv Narayan’s victory by one vote, orders were given to recount the votes cycle wise. There was a delay of eight hours in the announcement of the final result, but the result remained the same. In this election, Dhruvnarayan got 40,752 votes and Krishnamurthy got 40,751 votes.
Joshi lost by one vote
In 2008, CP Joshi also faced similar results in Rajasthan. He was the President of the State Congress at that time and his name was also discussed as the next Chief Minister. In this election of Nathdwara seat of Rajsamand district, Joshi got 62,215 votes and his rival Kalyan Singh Chauhan got 62,216 votes. There was no hope of EVMs changing the results in recounting. All hopes were pinned on postal paper ballot.
He demanded recounting of these votes. Out of total 501 postal ballots, 158 were cancelled. Out of 343 valid votes, among the five candidates for the seat, Kalyan Singh got 217 votes, Joshi got 122 votes, Ramesh Chandra got 1, Lalit Tiwari got 2 votes and Ram Chandra got 1 vote. Even their recounting did not change the result. After this Joshi demanded to re-link the EVM data. The result remained the same. Joshi accepted defeat and congratulated the Election Commission for its impartiality. It was Joshi’s misfortune that two voters from his family did not cast their votes in this election. In the same election from Dhar seat of Madhya Pradesh, lucky Neena Vikram Verma was successful in defeating her opponent by one vote.
Death of the only voter and polling booth!
In the 2004 Lok Sabha elections, Charangattu center falling under Badakara Lok Sabha and Perambra assembly seats of Kozhikode district of Kerala had only one voter. Charangattu Estate, situated amidst the dense forests of Kakkayam Dam, earlier used to have 351 voters. Then after the estate was closed, 350 of them found shelter elsewhere. But Charanagattu Dasan, who came here in 1968, remained there till his last breath. Before taking the decision to close this polling centre, the people associated with the election system requested them to join some nearby centre.
After his refusal, the Election Commission respected his rights. A polling booth was set up just for him in the office of an engineer of the Electricity Board near his house. For each of his votes, three polling officers, two constables and a driver were deployed along with EVMs and other election material. The election staff had to wait for their only voter till afternoon. In 2007, Charanagattu Dasan, the only voter of this polling station, died. A newspaper published the news of his death under the headline “Death of a Polling Station”.
There is still a polling station with one voter.
The country’s only polling station built for a single voter in the dense forests of Gir in Una block of Junagadh district of Gujarat remained intact even in the 2022 assembly elections. The ancient temple of Lord Shankar is located here, which is known as Vanage Temple. Sapnesh Biliyat, the nearest human populated village from the temple, is located 20 kilometers away. There is a dirt road to reach the temple. There is no facility like public transport there. Guru Bharatdas’s disciple Guru Bharatdas’s life was dedicated to this temple. He died on 1 November 2019. His place was taken by the new priest of the temple, Mahant Haridas.
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In this forest, there are only animals like lion, leopard, nilgai and deer to accompany the priest at night. The priest earns his living from the food and other materials brought by the devotees during the day. Apart from the priest, no one would dare to stay there even for a night. But there is such an occasion of election when the priest gets the support of the polling party. Apart from the temple in the forest, there is a small room built by the forest department. A polling station is set up in this. Till 2019, Guru Bharatdas used to cast his vote in the morning itself. After his death, Mahant Haridas remains the reason for the survival of this polling station. Even after the voting of the only voter, the polling party continues till the last scheduled time of voting. Why? According to former Chief Election Commissioner SY Qureshi, if anyone is going to challenge that vote, he should get a chance.
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