In the fight for survival, 350 families boycott Gujarat assembly elections

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While BJP and Congress are busy luring the OBCs, Dalits and the Patidars to their side to win the assembly polls due on 9 and 14 Dec, there are a few villagers and families that are not in favor of voting for any party. They are completely boycotting the polls.

A few days back there was another news of two villages in Valsad district in Gujarat boycotting the assembly elections, protesting about their water being contaminated by Srisol, a chemical company. Now there are 350 more families in Surat’s Sachin Municipality area to join the two villages not interested to participate in the elections at all.

These families are protesting against the ruling BJP in Gujarat saying that they have been forced to live in makeshift tents as the government has demolished their houses. They are demanding that if the government wants votes, they provide homes to the suffering families. In conversation with the reporters, Alka Ben, a resident in the makeshift tent said that “We face a lot of problems, our kids are growing up and there are no proper facilities to have the bath and there are no bathrooms also.

Another suffering resident Vidhubhai said that “we have been here for 14 months, we have tried our best and approached the concerned authorities multiple times. They assured us but nothing was done. Most families living here have small kids. We are poor people and live on daily wages, how can the government expect compromise and adjustment from us. We have been trying for long and now it is for sure that the government will not do anything, therefore, all of us have decided to boycott the elections and not vote for any party.”

Anita Ben in her statement to the reporters said that “We are forced to live here, We face many problems, there are no bathrooms, We bathe and defecate in the open. It has been two years that the government has demolished our house and it is doing nothing about it. Media people come and go but nobody is doing anything, nobody comes back for us.”

Meanwhile, the MLA od the area says that their tender got canceled due to the GST and the new tenders will be processed only after the elections. Zankhana Patel, MLA, Choryasi assembly seat said that since now the code of conduct has been imposed, next tender will be passed and the work will start. It will take around 1 year.

The residents are saying that the housing board had promised them new houses within a year and Rs 1500 rent money to live elsewhere in the meantime. The MLA said that few families were staying on rent in the houses that were demolished, even those families are demanding new houses, which is not possible.

The people residing there said that the makeshift tents are not safe, many thefts take place as the house are left abandoned when they go for work. There is no proper light and water facilities the area is not clean and many diseases are also spreading and survival is even tougher for the women. Many politicians came and went, make promises, but nothing has happened till now.

These 350 families only have one demand that if the government wants votes they will have to provide homes, else all of them will boycott the Gujarat assembly elections.