Gujarat elections 2012: In BJP sweep of industrial belt, 2 car zones prove an exception
“There is no development as claimed by Modi. He fooled people. In reality, people are selling their land and getting poorer,” said Pankaj Vaghela, a Youth Congress leader from Sanand where international car manufacturers like Ford and Peugeot are in the process of setting up manufacturing hubs. Even a 10-time increase in land prices at Sanand, post-Nano, could not turn the electorate in favour of the BJP, where the party’s candidate Kamabhai Rathod lost to Congress rival Karamsibhai Patel by a little over 4,100 votes.
At Viramgam, which will house the proposed Rs 4,000 crore Maruti Suzuki manufacturing plant (in Hansalpur village of Mandal taluka) and a proposed 900 sq km Special Investment Region, the BJP’s Pragji Patel lost to the Congress’s Tejashree Patel by 16,900 votes.
Beyond these two seats, experts feel, it is the development agenda of Modi that has worked. In Halol, which has seen big-ticket investments like the Rs 1,100 crore, two-wheeler manufacturing plant of Hero Motocorp, BJP candidate and Minister of State for Roads and Buildings Jayadrathsinhji Parmar won by 30,000 votes.
Industrialisation and investments have caused an escalation in land prices in this region, which, in turn, has led to an appreciation in the wealth of land-holders, especially farmers.
Experts say that in districts such as Patan and Surendranagar, investments in solar power projects have helped farmers realise the value of their respective land-holdings.
“The poll result is a big thumbs-up