Surat (Gujarat): All BJP and Congress candidates who have filed their nominations for the four constituencies in Surat are not just politicians, they are wealthy industrialists as well.
Industry insiders say Surat businessmen pumped in around 50 crore rupees during the last elections and this time it's a whopping 1,000 crores.
A look at the candidates:
- From Surat North it is BJP Nanu Vanani of the BJP and Dhiru Gajera of the Congress. Both are diamond merchants.
- From Surat West, it is Kishore Wankawala of the BJP and Ashok Shah of the Congress. Both are in textile business.
- And from Surat South, Narottam Patel of the BJP and Congress’s Janak Lalavadarwala are in the fray. Both are in construction business.
"We have nominated businessmen as they understand the problems of the industry better. They will represent the issues in a better way,” says Congress' Observer for South Gujarat, Kripashankar Singh.
While BJP Vice President, Kishore Vankawala says, "Business background has not been the only criterion."
The business community is happy no matter which party they support, it's a win-win situation.
"Whoever wins, the industry stands to gain this time. At least our issues will get raised with the government,” says Secretary, Textile Traders' Association, Devkishan Mangani.
But perhaps the over-riding reason why both parties have fielded businessmen is the massive votebank in the form of labourers in the diamond and textile industries, which account for about seven lakh votes.