Gujarat polls: Who will conquer city of lakes Vadodara?

Vadodara, which is the 18th largest city in the country and most populous in Gujarat, has its own share of problems as it gets ready for Assembly polls despite the claims of development made by the ruling BJP.

"There is no development at all. These are all lies from the BJP," said a lady at the IBN7 programme in Meri Vote, Meri Sarkar. "The lakes in the city have turned into gutters," said another lady. Even accusations were raised that soil from the beds of the lakes were smuggled out and sold illegally.

Vadodara ready for polls. Reuters

The ruling BJP MLA, Jitendra Sukhadia, who is fighting the polls again and was part of the programme, refuted all allegations.

"We have worked for the poor. We have increased the depth of lakes so that they can hold more water. The soil is not stolen," Sukhadia said.

He, however, admitted that on the infrastructure front not everything was done but denied any charge of corruption.

"Drainage project is not complete in the city but much has been done. There is no corruption in the electricity distribution in connivance with the Adani group as alleged . There are no potholes on the roads," the sitting MLA said.

Despite the angerness among people, the opposition Congress did not have enough ammunition to counter the BJP.

"Congress is not defensive. We are on the offensive. I am ashamed to say that I am from Vadodara. In the last ten years, there has been no dvelopment. There is no drinking water for the people here," said Congress leader Satyajit Gaekwad.

Blaming that Chief Minister Narendra Modi sold Gujarat to corporates, Gaekwad said, "The BJP under Narendra Modi sold Gujarat to five corporate houses including Adani group and the Reliance."

The Congress also said that the BJP is using the name of Ahmed Patel to communalise the voting.

"There is an attempt by the BJP to polarise the vote bank by taking Ahmed Patel's name," the Congress leader said. Ahmed Patel is the politcal secretary to Congress president Sonia Gandhi.

The BJP immediately rejected the claim.

"We are using Ahmed Patel's name as he might be Congress' chief ministerial candidate. We are not making anything communal," said Sukhadia.

There were complains of failing law and order situation as well.

"There is no security for women. The crimes are increasing. There has been numerous instances of chain snatching," a lady said.

Dhananjay Thakkar, who is the Vadodara city unit president of Gujarat Parivartan Party, denied that his party is only for the Patels.

"We will fight both the Congress and BJP. The GPP is not playing caste card. Everyone is getting a chance. We are not only for Patels," Thakkar said.

Ketan Inamdar, former BJP member who left the party and is fighting the polls as an Independent candidate, expressed his grudge against Modi.

"Gujarat has developed but not in an organised manner. Narendra Modi himself proposed the theory of no repetition of MLAs. But he broke his own formula by asking 75 percent of the sitting MLAs to fight the polls again. Hence I chose to leave the party," Inamdar said.

Vadodara district has 13 Assembly constituencies, of which eight are with the BJP and five are with the Congress, at present.

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