Three kin of Una flogging victims’ family contested in the election to Mota Samadhiyala village panchayat in Una taluka of Gir Somnath district, Guajarat. Interestingly, all the three Dalit candidates fought for lone reserved seat for the Scheduled Caste (SC), which was Ward No. 6 of Mota Samadhiyala. On July 11, seven members of this dalit family were assaulted when they were skinning a dead cow. Months after the incident in which they fought unitedly, these Dalits elected against each other to win the seat.
The three Dalits in the race of the only seat include Arvind Sarvaiya, a candidate fielded by present sarpanch Praful Korat, other is Ramesh Sarvaiya, a nominee of Dhanji Korat, the main challenger to the incumbent sarpanch and Nathu Sarvaiya, a member of the panel of Bhavesh Korat, who is not affiliated with any party, reported The Indian Express.
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The village Mota Samadhiyala has Dalit population of existing 27 families who are all Sarvaiyas and living here since many generations. According to sources quoted by IE, there was a change in general voting pattern of Dalits this election with people taking keen interest in voting and electing the best candidate. Balu Sarvaiya, who was one of the seven victims of flogging, said that he went to polling booth and cast his vote even though he had fever. His son Ramesh and wife Kunvar also voted.
It may be mentioned here that these Dalit candidates received backing in the elections from Patidars contesting for the sarpanch’s post. Patidars dominate this village which has 1,346 total voters. The community has around 500 votes followed by Ahirs and Dalits. These Patidars are taking care of all major and minor needs of the voters. From improved drainage system to anti-encroachment drive on the crematorium and from road construction to arrange completing process of alloting residential plots to the Dalits ordered by the state Government after flogging incident.