Juhapura in 3D

"He has done vikas", says Sheikh Mohammad Younus Haji Mian who runs a small rented shop in Daryapur. "Modi is Number 1 in development", feels Irfan. But both agree that the vikas Modi has brought is elsewhere — not in the Muslim areas of Daryapur, nor in Juhapura.

Can Modi be prime minister, the question hangs in the air. There is palpable unease, and something else. A sense that while the community's vote will not matter to Modi's re-election in Gujarat because of its small numbers in the state, he may not be able to ignore its concerns as blithely for his next step to the national stage. It won't happen, they insist, because of UP and Bihar, Mayawati and Mulayam, coalition politics, the US and the infighting BJP. "The rest of the country is not like Gujarat", grey-bearded Sadiq Husain of Juhapura is certain. "You don't know Mayawati", 20-something Anju tells a group of older Daryapur housewives. Anju's father came from UP to settle in Gujarat and she is certain that UP's leader will never let Modi become PM. "He never even got the US visa", points out the much older Rukkaiya. In Juhapura, Sadiq Husain is looking hopefully at Nitish Kumar: "Modi will have to get support from other states. They won't even let him campaign in Bihar."

From both Daryapur and Juhapura, the Congress puts up Muslim candidates, but most agree that even where it wins, the party has shown little in the name of development. "We have to vote for someone", says a resigned Mohammad Firoz of Juhapura, a businessman. Things may be changing from one generation to the next. "Our parents automatically gave their vote to the Congress, they wouldn't even look at the local candidate. I vote for the Congress only because I have no option", says Irfan in Daryapur.

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