Key to Gujarat
Like in most villages in this area, here too there is anger for the sitting MLA, BJP's state unit president Ranchhod Faldu, who is now the candidate from Jamnagar Rural seat after Kalawad was reserved post-delimitation. The BJP candidate this election, Meghji Chavda, is likely to bear the brunt of anger against Faldu. Says Boghara, "Bas batavi devu chhe" (we just want to show our anger to the BJP).
Nikava has an NRI-funded hospital, temples and a mosque, and river Oond flowing by it. But under its quiet waters, there is a revolution brewing.
Except a poster on the wall of Khatun Sheikh's house, asking to vote for Congress candidate Shailesh Parmar, there is hardly any sign in the whole of Citizennagar of the poll campaign. "We have been voting for the Congress and will keep doing it even if they do nothing for us. No matter what promises Modi holds out to Muslims, my stand will never change," Sheikh says.
Residents of Citizennagar are exiles in their own city. Sheikh's house is one of the 116 in Citizennagar, a rehabilitation colony set up after the post-Godhra riots in 2002. She fled her ancestral house in Naroda-Patia in Ahmedabad city where 97 people were killed, and took refuge here.
"Nobody has come to meet us so far even for campaigning. Last time (2007), I had helped a Hindu woman, whose name I don't remember, to get maximum votes from this locality. She never turned up again. We voted for the Congress but they didn't do anything for us. It was the BJP who laid roads recently, still, we will not vote for the party. We have been dumped here in this hell because of them," says an agitated Reshma Bano Saiyed, originally from Patia.