Although, most traders and their workers do not find much difference in political parties and expect nothing much from them, none of them are disillusioned to decide not to exercise their franchise. Determined to caste their votes, they do have diverse views on which party or candidate they will back and why.
From what shop owners and their staffers told Free Press it has come to fore that their own economic status is a major determinant of their electoral choice. There are certain other factors which they would take into consideration before they press the button on the EVMs (Electronic Voting Machines). Some of them said that demonetisation and GST (Goods and Services Tax) are passé. It will not affect their votes.
Owner, Shree Shivam Store, Roshanpura Square, New Market, Harish Mantri said, “I vote for candidate not party. I personally see the local participants or practical approach of candidates of their area. I can’t judge anyone 100% but I vote seeing the overall behaviour and work of the candidate.” He further said, “Both the candidates of our constituency (Bhopal South-west) are very good. Also, we decide vote on the basis of the chief minister the party is projecting.”
“I vote to the party or candidate who will provide us proper infrastructures like water, electricity and transportation in our area. I hail from Ganjbasoda, Vidisha, but I have been living in Bhopal for last year. So, I will ask my family and residents of our Mohalla before casting my vote. Whatever they will decide, I will go for them,” said a gatekeeper of the same store, Vinita Lodhi.
Owner of Anupam Jeweller Shop, New Market, Anupam Agrawal, “We will vote after reading newspaper. We will vote for the candidate to whom we know or those who came to us to ask vote. Party doesn’t matter for us. Demonetisation and GST (Goods and Services Tax) don’t affect our vote because it is passé. Jo hona tha ho gaya …We can’t correct or back it now.” My family and I are BJP supporters, said 32-year- old jewellery cleaner at the same Jewellery Shop, Ashok Soni.
“The party has provided lot of facilities like BPL permit, loan for home and plot. Besides, they made several schemes for the welfare for girls and women like Ladli Laxmi Yojna. They also made roads,” he said enumerating his party’s work. Similarly, owner of Neeraj Cloth store, Roshanpura Square, Shyam Kumar Aswani said, “I vote to the candidate who understand and solve problems of our area. There are two major political parties here. So, I will vote either for the Congress or the BJP but I can’t reveal this to you.”
“To cast vote is compulsory. So, I vote. Party or candidate doesn’t matter for me because I know very well that they will not come to ask our problems once they get elected. Ye sab apna ullu seedha karte hai…. Last year, I voted for the Congress but this year I will vote for the BJP,” 55-year-year sales manager of the same store Murlidhar Soni.