Gujaratis in Kerala are unhappy with the LDF, UDF, and NDA

The Gujarati community in Kerala is getting excited as the Lok Sabha elections draw near.

While the majority of Malayali Gujaratis have historically supported the BJP-led NDA in the Lok Sabha elections, there is a sense of mistrust towards all three main fronts this time around.The community is clearly unhappy with the BJP and Congress, even if they still want a strong Union administration.

 

“We have always avoided politics; our main concern is having a strong national government. Shrenik Shah, a Gujarati community member in Kerala, states, “There’s a shift especially among the youth, who prioritise development, employment opportunities, and a more conducive business environment, something lacking in our state. While a significant portion of our community supports Narendra Modi and the BJP, these things are lacking in our state.

The districts of Ernakulam, Alappuzha, Kannur, Kollam, and Malappuram are home to the majority of the people. Kerala has 15,500 members, the Gujarati Community Association reports, with 540 Gujarati families residing in Ernakulam. Malappuram and Kollam have the fewest, with five and ten households, respectively. “Our group used to be quite influential in Kerala, but we now feel excluded. Our Gujarati school, temples, and other historical places will be renovated, as the state government promised, but it seems they may also seize possession of our legacy. With our children moving out and many more about to go, our numbers have decreased. The secretary of the Alleppey Gujarati Samaj in Alappuzha, Dhruv Kumar Pandya, complains, “We no longer hold the importance we did.”

The Gujarati population, who are known for their commercial expertise, bemoans the lack of attention paid to industrial rebirth, especially to the textile and spice industries, which have suffered because of Kerala’s inhospitable business climate.

The Gujarati Association of Kerala reports that over the previous five years, 47 community-owned businesses in Kerala had closed. The members claim that these are concerns that the LS candidates have mostly ignored.

Spice seller Kishorsbhi Shamji says, “My company struggled to export our products for five years.” We pushed for the resurgence of copra, spices, coir, and tourism, but trade union militancy put up barriers,” claims Shamji. “Under the BJP’s Union administration, we expected an industrial recovery, but to little effect. Union Minister V Muraleedharan downplayed our worries, pointing to the trade minister’s lack of interest. Piyush Goyal, the Union Minister of Commerce, now believes that firms do not need subsidies. Under the LDF administration, we had hoped for improvements, yet trade union persecution still exists. The UDF MPs said nothing. Whom should we believe? All we can do now is watch this election,” adds Shamji, who