Voice Of The People

Will BJP survive the Surat Test despite The Patidar Agitation, GST, and DeMo?

Team Jan Ki Baat continues with its extensive election coverage in the crucial city of Surat. A textile and diamond hub of Gujarat, Surat has always been an important region for any party that aims to form a government in Gujarat. After covering crucial areas like the Heera Bazaar and Limbayat, our CEO Pradip Bhandari, along with Founding Partner Akriti Bhatia converse with the politically aware citizens of Surat at the Surat Railway Station.

Our CEO, Pradip Bhandari took this opportunity to expresses our heartfelt gratitude for making Jan Ki Baat one of the top 5 watched social media platforms for the Gujarat Elections.

The first voter for the day rejected the #VikaasGandoThayoChe claim. He said, “The work that BJP has done over the last 22 years is visible. Women are safe in Gujarat.” When asked about Hardik Patel, he said, “Hardik speaks the language of Congress, post their alliance.”

Surat 1

The next citizen more or less agreed with the previous voter. “Initiatives like Swachh Bharat are very good. Steps like GST are bad only for those who hoard commodities. GST is good for the poor.” When Pradip asked him about the price rise of vegetables and its electoral impact, he replied, “At such times, it is natural for parties to lay charges against each other.”

Next, Akriti spoke to a couple of voters for their opinion on the #HoonChuVikaas vs #VikaasGandoThayoChe debate. The first one said, “Vikaas has happened. Roads and bridges have been constructed.” The next voter, however, was not convinced. He said, “Modi won the 2014 elections with a stunning majority. What has been the benefit to the people of Gujarat? Has the poor benefitted because of Demonetisation? Our MLAs have not visited our constituency even once. They care about us only during elections.” On Hardik Patel and the Patidar agitation, he said, “He is a young leader. They should get what their right is, under the constitutional Framework, not by fighting.”

Moving on, we spoke to a group of youngsters who were very happy to share their views. The first of this group said, “Vikaas has certainly put. Quoting Modiji, “If there is a renovation in your house, you are bound to face some problems.” Demonetisation is a good step for the long run. We are exposed to a lot more opportunities than we did earlier.” The next voter said, “there are some corrective steps needed, especially in GST, because of which traders faced a lot if issues. We want to bring Modiji to power in 2019, but the government should look into the issues with GST so small time traders are protected.”

On old citizen joined in the conversation. “Modi has constructed roads in the remotest of villages. Very few people have worked for the country as much as Modiji has. Congress has done nothing for 60 years. We need someone like Modi to run the country.”

The next voter was not happy with the way things were going. He said, “Vikaas hasn’t happened completely. There hasn’t been done enough about the poor. Many things promised have not been delivered to us.”

Next, we talked to a couple of Rikshaw drivers in the locality. They said, “The rich have become richer and the poor have become poorer. There is hardly any vikaas in rural areas. Private players like Ola have hurt us a lot. Congress will come back to power.”

To sum up the political situation in and around the Surat Railway station, Jan Ki Baat found that there are many who feel that development has not touched their lives. There are many who also feel that Modi has done an exemplary job as the Chief Minister and now as the Prime Minister. Despite Surat being assumed to be the most affected because of GST and DeMo, its residents seem to be patient about the structural reforms settling in. That is all from our side, as reported by CEO Pradip Bhandari and Founding Partner Akriti Bhatia.

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