gujarat: Gujarat people moved beyond caste-based voting because of PM, claims Mandaviya

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The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) will make huge electoral gains in Saurashtra, Union health minister Mansukh Mandaviya said, adding that the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) will not win even a single seat in the region. As voters in Saurashtra, Surat and many other parts of Gujarat prepare to vote in less than a week, the health minister has been crisscrossing the State holding public meetings every day. Mandaviya spoke toVasudha Venugopal on a range of issues ahead the crucial polls. Excerpts:

Anti-incumbency of 27 yrs

It the trust that people have in the BJP and (Prime Minister) Narendra Modi. The people of Gujarat have been constantly voting for the BJP because the party is the only one that understands the taseer (soul) of the Gujarati janata. People of the State want shanti and salamati (peace and safety) and development. BJP has delivered on all fronts. The state was drought-ridden for years, but because of Modiji’s initiatives such as sujalam sufalam and sauni, north Gujarat and Saurashtra have water now. 115 dams in villages get filled, and farmers no longer have to depend on the rains alone. We are also building 3 lakh Kisan Samriddhi Kendras to help hundreds of farmers connect with the PM. In the health sector, our vaccination programmes or even TB outreach have garnered appreciation from experts worldwide. The spirit of entrepreneurship has been actively encouraged which has led to its development.

Caste being a major factor
People of Gujarat have largely moved beyond caste-based voting. This is because of Modi. Yes, every party takes care of representation, but when it comes to voting, people of the state show a collective spirit.

AAP, Surat & Saurashtra

This time, the BJP will make huge gains in Saurashtra and in Surat; AAP will not be able to win a single seat. This is because AAP doesn’t understand Gujarat. If freebies were really the way to win the votes of Gujaratis, Congress would have come to power long back. AAP is only promising 300 units of power free, but the Congress in every manifesto had promised free electricity and many other benefits that the people of Gujarat understand are not possible to fulfil. Also, Gujaratis also do not like AAP’s campaign style of running down people, making tall claims about of not using official cars or taking a salary, when they do exactly the opposite.

Congress campaign

It’s true that the Congress campaign is fizzling, but still our fight is only with the Congress.

Defections of Cong leaders

It’s only natural that people get drawn towards BJP because it has people’s support. Some had got misled but even they realised they can work for the people only if they are within the BJP’s fold. The party doesn’t need to lure anyone. People, even elected representatives, automatically are driven to join the BJP because the party has what matters most in politics – trust of the people

Price rise, unemployment

The BJP has never dismissed people’s issues and told them the truth. Before 1995, to get a job in Gujarat, one needed lagwag (influence) or money, like it still happens in many states. But since the last 20 years, even a poor family’s children get government jobs only on merit. Large-scale recruitment happens in the state only on merit, and there is no compromise on that.

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