BJP gaining lost ground in Godhra

Last Updated 13 December 2012, 18:55 IST

This is where it all began for Chief Minister Narendra Modi who started his tenure as the chief minister in the state about a decade back.

But down the line both he and his party lost it when in the 2007 Assembly elections, the BJP’s Haresh Bhatt lost it out to Congress’s C K Raolji.

Cut to 2012 and both Modi and the BJP seem to be gaining lost ground, if not getting a total grip of the area.  The polling for this constituency is scheduled to be held on December 17, in the second phase. And the indicator is after a gap of about a decade the BJP has been able to open its election offices in the minority-dominated Polan Bazar.

Call it the Sadbhavana effect but Polan Bazar which is a Muslim area with hardly a population of two or three per cent from the majority community too are amazed to see the two election offices.

“The people of this area too have realised that they are not marginalised, they do not get a feeling that their voice is not heard,” said Praveensinh Chauhan, the BJP candidate of the area. The Muslims too are not averse to see BJP offices in the area, which was unthinkable a decade ago. “Even at the peak of communal riots when there was a wave for Modi, this is one seat which the BJP had won but it had not won the confidence of the people and that was reflected in the next Assembly elections in 2007 when voters ousted the BJP from this seat,” admits Chauhan.

The members of the minority community too agree that there is a visible change and a level of acceptability.

“The offices of the BJP in an area which is a Muslim-dominated area is an indication that the acceptability for the party even in the minority community is probably increasing,’’ said Ramzani Khan who has a godown just opposite one of the election offices.

Campaign effects

He said that the BJP and Modi’s effective campaigns have definitely managed to draw some goodwill, otherwise it is not possible to seen election office around in this area.
Congress candidate Raolji however dismisses these predictions and says, “setting up an office does not mean winning the seat. The people, especially the Muslims, can never embrace the BJP no matter whatever tricks the party leaders or candidates are upto.’’
Raolji said that it remains to be seen whether the people vote for the party or keep BJP happy.

(Published 13 December 2012, 18:55 IST)

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