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Maharashtra polls: APMC traders unhappy with local problems, but still root for BJP

Urvashi Valecha Mumbai | Updated on October 19, 2019 Published on October 19, 2019

One can notice a mass exodus almost of people leaving the APMC building in Navi Mumbai. A power cut was the main cause of this truancy. While a part of the APMC market was facing electricity issues, the other was well-lit bustling with people.

Kamlesh Shah of Sadguru traders has been in the business of selling spices for the last 40 years. He sits inside his unit at APMC and breaks into a giggle when asked about who he would vote for. “Well, my vote is definitely with the BJP,” he says. While he is voting for the BJP he wants the party to listen to his concerns at the same time. He says, “ The Government had brought in GST saying that it would be a single tax and we wouldn’t have to pay anything more than that. But, over here they are charging us with APMC tax.” He added that the tax made his products more expensive when compared to other states like Gujarat. “ It makes a difference of at least 0.80 rupees which is a lot for wholesale.”

Just ahead is Mahesh Shinde who is supervising his workers as they load spices into the tempo for dispatch. When asked about who he would vote for, he said, “Top priority is for the BJP.” He is quick to mention that initially, the local candidate that his family voted for has moved to BJP. “Is there any option left? The person we voted for in our area has changed parties and shifted to BJP and so our vote goes to them by default.” He said that the slowdown was impacting him in a minor way.

Rajesh Bhansushali of Om traders is very vocal about voting for the BJP. He has been in business for 10 years and says, "We need to change our thinking and just keep working the right way. Those who want to do business the right way will not even feel the pinch. We need to stop expecting that the Government will do something for us. Instead, we should do something for our country."

A person who has a vegetable shop and did not wish to be named said, "There are a lot of problems with the APMC. Look at the condition of this building, it's so dilapidated and worn down. The area is not clean at all. People fall sick. The farmers who come to sell here have no proper place to stay. So many problems.

(The writer is an intern with BusinessLine, Mumbai)

Published on October 19, 2019
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