Congress-BJP Collusion Leaves Surat Electorate Disenfranchised

The unfolding drama surrounding the Surat Lok Sabha seat, marred by betrayal and collusion between the Congress candidate and the BJP, has left citizens feeling robbed of their democratic rights


Surat : In the heart of Gujarat’s political landscape, the city of Surat finds itself embroiled in a storm of discontent as voters take to social media platforms to vent their frustration over recent events. The unfolding drama surrounding the Surat Lok Sabha seat, marred by betrayal and collusion between the Congress candidate and the BJP, has left citizens feeling robbed of their democratic rights. With the upcoming Lok Sabha elections scheduled for May 7, the electorate faces an unprecedented situation as they grapple with the realization that their voices will be silenced in this crucial democratic exercise.

As the political saga unfolds in Surat, social media platforms are ablaze with the ire of disillusioned voters who feel betrayed by the very system designed to uphold their rights. The recent revelation of collusion between the Congress candidate and the BJP has struck a chord of indignation among the electorate, signaling a deep-seated distrust in the political machinery.

Surat was also the constituency of the late Morarji Desai, who served as the 7th Prime Minister of India. Desai served as the MP from Surat Lok Sabha constituency, encompassing Surat, Valsad, and Navsari districts, for a total of 4 terms. Morarji Desai won elections as a Congress candidate three times, in 1962, 1967, and 1971. Morarji Desai stood up against injustice and tyranny, seeking justice for the assault on democracy, and imparted a valuable lesson to Congress and Indira Gandhi. The people of Surat played a crucial role in electing Morarji Desai as the Prime Minister in the Janata Morcha government. The electorate of Surat has a rich and illustrious history. C. D. Patel emerged as the victorious candidate in the 1980 and 1984 Lok Sabha elections, showcasing his experience and leadership within the Congress party. Furthermore, the BJP emerged victorious in every election from 1989 to 2019. Kashiram Rana, a veteran leader of the BJP, served as the Member of Parliament from the Surat seat for an impressive six consecutive terms. Surat has a rich history of preserving democracy.

For the first time in the annals of democratic history, the 16.37 lakh electorates in Surat stand on the precipice of disenfranchisement in the upcoming Lok Sabha election. The absence of the iconic selfies, proudly displaying inked fingers and victory signs, on social media feeds serves as a stark reminder of the erosion of democratic principles in the city.

Even if all the candidates were disqualified, we still have the option of NOTA. Ramesh Parmar, a shop owner in Chauta Bazaar, expressed his opinion that the Election commission should have proceeded with the election. Since 2014, the BJP has consistently secured victory with a significant margin of over 500,000 votes. He questioned the motives behind orchestrating the disqualification of the Congress candidate and using their power to forcefully pressurise the other eight candidates to withdraw their nominations on the last day.

The palpable sense of disappointment resonates not only among voters but also among party workers who had anticipated jubilant celebrations on June 4, the day of election results. Instead, a cloud of uncertainty looms over Surat as the electorate grapples with the harsh reality of being sidelined in a democracy they hold dear.

Voices of dissent reverberate through the streets of Surat as citizens question the undemocratic tactics employed by the ruling BJP to manipulate the electoral process. Many are perplexed by the heavy-handed pressure tactics deployed to coerce smaller party candidates and independents into withdrawing their nominations, effectively limiting the electorate’s choice on the ballot.

Expressing his dismay, a Prakash Desai, a voter in Surat remarked, “It’s a travesty of democracy. Our fundamental right to vote has been snatched away, leaving us feeling powerless and marginalized.”

Another citizen, Dhruv Patel, echoed similar sentiments, stating, “The BJP’s tactics reek of desperation. Instead of fostering a fair and inclusive electoral process, they have resortd to underhanded tactics to maintain their grip on power.”

Amidst the clamor for justice and accountability, questions linger about the BJP’s decision to thwart the lone Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) candidate’s chance to contest the election on the Surat Lok Sabha seat. Many view this maneuver as a blatant disregard for democratic values and an affront to the spirit of fair competition.

“The resilience and determination of the people to safeguard their democratic rights remain unwavering. In the face of adversity, they stand united in their quest for transparency, accountability, and the restoration of democracy’s integrity in their beloved city” said Sanjay Ezhava, social activist.