As part of the BJP’s Gujarat Gaurav Maha-Sampark Abhiyan, Chief Minister Vijay Rupani began his campaign from the old city areas of Ahmedabad on Wednesday. The campaign started from Khadiya-Jamalpur area, predominantly a Muslim-dominated area. The Chief Minister went door-to-door to solicit votes for his party and people welcomed him with open arms.
The affection poured by the Muslim community on Rupani is a bright spot for the BJP especially when the Patidar and Dalit communities have distanced themselves from the party.
Rupani’s bandwagon was received with the slogans of ‘Allah-hu-Akbar’ and ‘Bharat Mata ki Jai’. The constituency of Khadiya-Jamalpur has a Muslim population of about 62 per cent. As the Chief Minister walked through the bylanes of the 600-year-old Walled City, which is one of the main reasons for Ahmedabad receiving the Heritage City tag from the UNESCO World Heritage body, he was greeted with much warmth by men and women alike.
The Khadiya-Jamalpur seat is a relatively new seat that came into existence after 2008 delimitation as a result of the merging of erstwhile Jamalpur and Khadiya seats. Though a Muslim-dominated seat having about 2 lakh voters, it is an urban seat which gave a mandate to BJP by electing Bhushan Bhatt in the 2012 assembly elections. The area has about 98,000 Hindus and the BJP has always had a political grip over the area.
Rupani, who was overwhelmed by the warm response, attributed the positive reception to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s popularity and his party’s acceptance by the Muslim Community. The Chief Minister said that the community has faith in the BJP and its social mantra of ‘Sauno Saath, Sauno Vikas’. He targeted the Congress for exploiting Muslims for votes all decades.
The Muslim dominated areas of the city lack basic amenities and have hardly seen any development even as the sitting BJP MLA Bhushan Bhatt had been trying his best to solve the problems of the residents. The aspirations of the Muslim youth is to have better facilities in their areas. The CM’s rally mainly attended by Muslim groups belonging to Chippas, Bohras, and Sargaras were happy that the CM took time to visit their locality.