Residents of Ancheli and its 17 neighbouring villages in Navsari have hung banners calling for a boycott of the Assembly elections and a ban on political leaders, including those from the ruling BJP, from entering the villages for campaigning, because their demand to stop local trains at the Ancheli railway station has yet to be met.
The banners near the Ancheli Railway station and in the main chowk areas of the villages says, “Train nahi to vote nahi (no train no votes). BJP or other political parties should not come for election campaigns. Our demands are not met, so we are boycotting the elections.”
Residents of Ancheli and neighbouring villages have been petitioning Navsari MP and state BJP president CR Paatil, BJP MLA Piyush Desai, and Union Minister of State for Railways and Textiles Darshanaben Jardosh for a halt to shuttle trains and other passenger trains at the Ancheli Railway station for several months. They claim that the service was halted following the Covid-19 pandemic.
The villagers made the same request to Union Minister of Railways Ashwini Vaishnaw on October 18.
Ancheli is located between the Western Railway stations of Amalsad and Vedchha in Navsari. The villagers demanded a stop for the Virar Bharuch Express and the Surat Intercity Express, which run between Mumbai and Surat.
Despite the memorandum and making multiple representations to the political leaders, no actions have been taken so far. “The students, people going to neighbouring textile industries in Sachin and Valsad are facing great problems. They are far from the villages and with the limited salary, they cannot afford to travel on their own vehicles. The buses are also not regular,” said Ancheli village Sarpanch Nirmala Patel.