February 22, 2021 2:40:23 am
The Surat Municipal Corporation, where the Patidar quota agitation of 2015 saw a major swing in votes in favour of the Congress, had the voters weighing their options on Sunday.
The city with migrants from Saurashtra that power the diamond industry, as well as those from Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Odisha and Rajasthan who work in the textile units, saw a major exodus during the Covid-19 lockdown.
Dinesh Patel (32), a diamond polisher by profession and resident of Punagam area in Surat, has been voting regularly for 10 years and goes by the candidate. But this time, he and his friends decided to vote those who served people during the Covid pandemic. “We have discussed among ourselves that we will give vote to those who had served during the Covid pandemic. Also, the voters have got one more alternative in the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP)…”
Another diamond polisher, Mahesh Ranperiya (25), a resident of Katargam area, said, “The BJP is in the blood of Patidars, and even in the last municipal election, I voted for the BJP. We are not satisfied with the work done by our councillor, so this time, we have given a chance to AAP… I have read about the work done by the Delhi government…”
Satyendra Upadhyay (45), a resident of Vadod area in Surat city, works as a packer in the textile trading firm and hails from Gorakhpur in Uttar Pradesh. Upadhyay had been staying in Surat city for 20 years. He told The Indian Express, “We don’t know who is the candidate in our ward but we have given vote to BJP. The residential society where I stay is having all facilities so there is no issue for me.”
A dyeing and printing mill worker, Yashwant Upadhyay (38), who hails from Madhya Pradesh, and a resident of Bhagwati nagar in Bhestan, Surat, said, “ I voted in Surat city in the past two municipal elections… this time, we are unhappy that the local councilors had not come up to our help during the Covid pandemic… and decided to give chance to the AAP candidate.”
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