Auto-hub Sanand, part of the Gandhinagar parliamentary constituency where BJP veteran L K Advani is taking on Congress Kirit Patel, witnessed brisk polling on Wednesday.
Sanand, with over 2.18 lakh voters, saw a serpentine queue of voters in several booths since morning. The town has been developing fast as an auto-hub since 2009.
“A few years back, nobody knew where Sanand was. Today, our town is seeing a lot of development. There are so many industrial units,” said Kanak Shah who voted at a booth in APMC yard. Shah gave the BJP government credit for progress.
In 2013 alone, 56 industrial units have set up base in Sanand attracting Rs 3500 crore to this fast developing industrial belt that has auto majors like Tata Motors and Ford Motors. The biggest investment last year was Rs 1,500 crore by Alstom Bharat Forge Pvt Ltd allotted 46 acres of land, state government sources said.
In spite of industrial development since Tata Nano set up base here in 2009, Sanand threw up a surprise in 2012 Gujarat Assembly elections when Congress candidate Karamsibhai Patel won the Assembly segment defeating BJP.
“During the assembly elections, local caste and community factors played a role. This time it is BJP all the way,” says Gaurang Patel who runs a mobile shop in Sanand and who had voted with his family.
Not everybody agrees with development claims. “Though we have RCC roads in Sanand, in some parts the roads are poor. There is a lot to be done in terms of development in Sanand where filth in public places is becoming a big issue,” says Kirti Bharwad, who along with his 86-year-old grandmother cast his vote.
Sanand town had a sizeable turnout. Large crowds were missing in surrounding villages.
In the 2009 Lok Sabha elections, the turnout in Gandhinagar was 47 percent, the highest turnout was in Kalol (55%), and the lowest in Dehgam (38%).