People's Democracy

(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)


No. 27

July 04, 2004



A “Red” Panchayat In Sabarkantha

 Arun Mehta


RECENTLY, village Bamna in Sabarkantha district held panchayat elections for one sarpanch and five panchayat member posts. Out of 748 voters, 602 came out to vote and, the number of invalid votes being 12, the results were based on 590 valid votes.


These 6 seats, out of 8, went to polls after Dilipkumar Bhatt and Jasvantbhai Paschal won uncontested in ward number 4 and 2 respectively.


Incidentally, this village is known as the birthplace of renowned Gujarati poet laureate late Umashankar Joshi. He was a progressive freedom fighter with Left leanings.


In this village, the sarpanch post is reserved for a scheduled caste female. The CPI(M)’s Padmaben Parmar won this post after having received 360 out of 590 valid votes polled. She trounced her rival by 138 votes.


The CPI(M) had put up a panel for the rest 5 seats and 3 out of them won. These were Purushottamdas Parmar, Arun Kumar Joshi and Mohammadbhai Sheikh. As for the other two, Rakhiben lost by 3 and Kailashben by 4 votes only. Out of the winning candidates, maximum votes was scored by Purushottamdas Parmar who scored 84 votes out of 114 polled.


Thus the CPI(M) has won 6 seats here, including the sarpanch post. Several newspaper in the state have taken note of this development, dubbing this particular panchayat as the “red” panchayat of Gujarat. 


This CPI(M) victory came in the background of a sustained work by the Kisan Sabha and the recently victorious land struggle in this village in Bhiloda taluka.