Team Jan Ki Baat has travelled to Surat, where we bring to you our exclusive report from the Heera Bazar in Surat, led by our reporters Nischal and Anirudh. Before we look into what the influential Heera Bazaar has to say, let’s look at some important electoral facts about Surat.
Constituencies: Olpad, Mangrol, Mandvi, Kamrej, Surat East, Surat North, Varachha Road, Karanj, Limbayat, Udhna, Majura, Katargam, Surat West, Choryasi, Bardoli, Mahuva
Date of Election: 09-12-17
Phase – 1
Number of Registered Voters: 4028678
First up, after warming up with our viewers, Nischal talked to a businessman who thought both parties are involved in an intense battle. He said, “It has been 22 years since the same party is ruling. A change would be nice.” His dissatisfaction with Demonetisation, GST was evident as he went on to say, “Business is down by 50%. People used demonetisation and converted Black Money to white.” When asked about Hardik, he said, “He won’t have a significant impact in Surat but surely some in North Gujarat and Saurashtra.”
The next businessman was of the opinion that BJP will come to power. While talking to Nischal, he said, “Despite the candidates not working for the people, the BJP will come to power as they are the stronger party.” When asked about Rahul Gandhi and Congress’ Navsarjan Yatra, he said, “You talk about unemployment, what is the situation in Amethi? Talk about that first. There is a lot of unemployment there.” Like most other businessmen in Surat, he too was affected by Demonetisation and GST. “Both these steps have affected our businesses as we deal with a lot of cash. Business is surely down.”
Before moving into knowing other political insights, Nischal and Anirudh took some time to understand the nuances associated with cleaning of diamonds by a short demonstration.
The next businessman was convinced about BJP’s ability to win this election. He said, “There is no other option in Surat except for BJP. All Congress has done for 60 years is loot people. BJP is solely banking on Narendra Modi’s image as its local leaders are no less than Congress’. People identify with the PM the most and will vote for his face.” He further added, “Despite businesses suffering and unemployment rising, people stand behind the BJP. Our business operates with a 1% margin. 3% GST is extremely difficult to shell out and has rendered us jobless.” On opposition’s #VikaasGandoThayoChe charge, he said, “Vikaas has happened.”
Another diamond trader that spoke to Jan Ki Baat was also convinced about BJP’s prospects. When asked about GST, Demonetisation, he said, “They are good steps for our future generations. There are no questions about it.
After a few people hesitated to talk on camera, Anirudh talked about how famous the Surat Diamond Market is. He talked about how Surat is a hub for diamond and Textile Market. Before signing off, Anirudh last spoke to a roadside vendor about the electoral mood. He said, “BJP will win the elections.”
Thus, the picture looked rather clear in the Diamond Market at Surat. Despite facing several difficulties due to demonetisation and GST, the influential Heera Bazaar seems to have forgiven Narendra Modi and look likely to hand him another chance.