Gujarat polls: Will GST changes prove to be game changer for BJP in PM Modi’s home state? take a look

By: | Updated: November 24, 2017 8:40 AM

Gujarat polls: BJP has been served firing salvos by Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi over Prime Minister Narendra Modi's demonetisaion and Goods and Services Tax (GST) moves.

 gujarat polls, gujarat elections, gujarat elections 2017, gujarat polls dates, demonetisation, gst, goods and services tax, pnarencdra modi, pm modi, Gujarat polls: BJP has been served firing salvos by Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi over Prime Minister Narendra Modi?s demonetisaion and Goods and Services Tax (GST) moves. (IE images)

Gujarat polls: BJP has been served firing salvos by Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi over Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s demonetisaion and Goods and Services Tax (GST) moves. In the ceramic hub of Morbi in Gujarat, a section of traders who have long stood by the BJP are unhappy with the BJP, accoridng to Indian Express report. In this area, hundreds of daily-wage labourers, traders and industrialists had faced cash crunch aftermath of note ban decision on November 8, 2016. The GST roll out also proved to be a difficult one as building materials were initially placed in the higher tax bracket. But the changes made by the GST Council saw building material shifted from the 28 per cent category to the 18 per cent slab. This has brought much-nedeed relief to the traders.

”It’s not easy for the BJP this time. The Patidar agitation, crop insurance issues, irrigation worries and low price for produce have put the voters in two minds. However, the question remains whether the Congress will be able to take advantage of the situation,” said K G Kundariya, president, Vitrified Tiles Division, Morbi Ceramic Associations. “Demonetisation pushed this hub into a three-month dip when 30 per cent of the industry shut down — at least 10 per cent of those has since resumed business,” Kundariya said. “But not many big businesses were affected. We are more into exports and people like us did not have to stand in queues. But sales had gone down considerably,” he said, adding that ceramic tiles and other building materials from Morbi are exported to 140 countries.

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Jignesh Patel, director of Win-Tel, a tile manufacturer, however, had a different view. “There was discontent among ceramic industrialists over demonetisation and GST. But now, things have come under control. We faced issues, but protected our workers by providing them grocery from provision stores. Now all the labourers have bank accounts… and the government has moved the industry out of the 28 per cent tax category,” said Patel.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will address eight rallies on November 27 and 29 in different parts of Saurashtra and south Gujarat, where polling for the first phase of assembly polls will be held on December 9. On the morning of November 27, Modi will address people in Bhuj town of Kutch district and later in the day in Jasdan town of Rajkot, Dhari in Amreli and Kamrej in Surat district, Gujarat BJP in-charge Bhupender Yadav told a press conference. On November 29, Modi will address poll rallies in Morbi and Prachi villages near Somnath, Palitana in Bhavnagar and at Navsari in south Gujarat.

“Each rally has been organised in such a way that people from five to six surrounding constituencies can also attend it,” said Yadav.

The polling for the two-phase elections in the state, having total 182 assembly seats, will take place on December 9 and 14 and votes will be counted on December 18. While 89 seats of Saurashtra and South Gujarat region will go to polls in the first phase, the election in the remaining 93 constituencies in central and northern regions will be held in the second phase. On November 26 and 27, several prominent BJP leaders will address rallies in different parts of state where the first phase of polling is scheduled to be held.

The star campaigners include Union ministers Rajnath Singh, Nitin Gadkari, Arun Jaitley and Sushma Swaraj, chief ministers of BJP-ruled states — Yogi Adityanath and Vasundhara Raje — as well as several Gujarat BJP leaders, said Yadav. “On November 26 and 27, our star campaigners will address rallies in all the 89 seats going to polls in the first phase,” he added.

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