Ahmedabad: Satipati Sampradaya, a tribal community in South Gujarat which resists associating itself with the administration, has been enrolled for the first time in the voters' list and is likely to exercise franchise in the 2012 state assembly polls, officials said.
    
In a first, the Sampradaya members have been enrolled in districts like Tapi, Dang, Narmada, Valsad, amongst others, and few have also been issued Electoral Photo Identity Cards (EPICs), enhancing probability of their participation in the festival of democracy-elections.
    
The tribal community takes pride in keeping themselves aloof from any of the government's schemes. The Satipati 'movement' is touted to have been active in Gujarat prior to Independence (1930s) but has been losing sheen from 1995 onwards, after reaching a high.
    
Dang, where around 90 percent population is tribal, is considered to be base of Satipatis, with an estimated population of around 3,000 people.
    
"About 2,500 Satipatis have been enrolled in Dang district after we launched a massive door-to-door campaign to convince them," DEO Dang P K Solanki said.

"Seeking help of educated young members in their family helped in getting them enrolled some of them have been issued EPICs and process is on we expect them to vote this time," he said.
 
Gujarat will go to polls on December 13 and 17. "Estimated population of Satipatis in Narmada is nearly 600, of which 75 percent have been enrolled. With our persistent efforts and cajoling, around 50 percent of the enrolled have been issued EPICs," DEO Narmada Milind Torawane said.

(Agencies)

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