Gujarat ground report: Has Modi’s ‘vikas’ overshadowed Morbi tragedy?

| Updated: 23 November, 2022 7:45 pm IST

Standing in black overalls on Atal Bridge overlooking Sabarmati, Mohammed Samir, looks taut as he flexes his muscles, gingerly disclosing his party preference in Gujarat polls. His religion is a dead giveaway but he doesn’t make any bones about the fact BJP has indeed done major developmental work.

Samir, a bouncer by profession, slowly becomes even more buoyant as The New Indian makes polite inquiries on other parties and seeks his views on manifesto comparison. “Definitely BJP had done a lot of work than Congress. We have seen many improvements in infrastructure. This bridge has added to the city’s infrastructure. Many new things have been built over the years by the BJP government. They have really done great work,” he says.

Promises of freebies made Aam Aadmi Party, which is contesting its maiden election in the state doesn’t cut ice with him either.  “Today, they are promising 300 units of free electricity. Who knows by what means the money will be recovered? I don’t trust such promises,” he says.

For Nayan Jani, maintenance work on the Atal Bridge, AAP’s foray into Gujarat elections wouldn’t be a total waste. He believes the party has the potential to wipe out the current Opposition Congress. “AAP’s campaigning is definitely better. They seem to be promising enough to become second,” he said.

Ram Singh, a Rajasthani migrant who has settled in Ahmedabad for work said, “There are plenty of job opportunities in Ahmedabad. Thousands of Rajasthanis have settled here for work”

It seems Morbi bridge collapse has ben forgiven by people. They seem to see it as an accident and speak of it in a matter of fact way. “Morbi was a weak bridge. Modi has done a lot for us. He has made so many temples. He had made the Ram Mandir. Earlier there used to be curfews in Ahmedabad but no longer,” says Arshad bhai.

The Gujarat elections will take place in two phases on December 1, and December 2022, counting will begin on December 08, 2022 for both phases.

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