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Will the businessman spoil the seats in the Lok Sabha elections?

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Sufferings and problems of the traders in the Country are as big as tall statute of Sardar Patel. The votes of crores of traders and the people dependent upon them for their livelihood will be decisive in deciding the future of candidates in 195 Lok Sabha Constituencies in 19 States and therefore the role of traders have become crucial in the forthcoming elections as they are trying to consolidate the trading community across Country into a Vote Bank. This is the outcome of a deep analysis of the traders strength made at just concluded National; Traders Conference held at Puducherry by the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) which was attended by more than 200 prominent trade leaders from 26 States.

These 195 seats includes three seats in Delhi Chandni Chowk, New Delhi & South Delhi, 33 seats in UP, 11 seats in Rajasthan, 13 seats in Gujarat, 21 seats in Maharashtra, 14 seats in MP, 4 seats in Chattisgarh, 16 seats in West Bengal, 7 seats in North East region, 6 seats in Jharkhand, 15 seats in Bihar, 16 seats in Tamilnadu, 3 seats in Telangana, 4 seats in Andhra Pradesh, 5 seats in Kerala, 7 seats in Odisha, 4 seats in Haryana, 3 seats in Punjab and 10 seats in Karnataka. These seats have dominance and influence of traders whose votes may decide who gets elected in elections.

Prominent seats among 195 seats include Lucknow, Varanasi, Kanpur, Jhansi, Pune, Nagpur, Akola, Kolhapur, Surat, Vadodara, Jamnagar, Bhopal, Indore, Gwalior, Ranchi, Jamshedpur, Bhuvneshwar, Gauhati, Kolkata, Midnapore, Siliguri, Asansol, Raipur, Chennai, Madurai, Coimbatore, Banglore, Hyderabad, Tirupati, Cochin, Ludhiana, Chandigarh, Faridabad, Gurgaon, Sonepat, Muzaffarpur, Jammu, Jaipur, Udaipur, Bhilwara, Ajmer, Alwar etc. Out of 195 seats about 70% are in Urban areas and 30% in semi rural or rural areas.

It is estimated that in all these constituencies traders constitute nearly 40% of the total votes in each constituency whereas there are about 40 seats in different states where traders can influence the result of the elections having their presence from 15% to 20% of the total votes, Shops are the best venue for a whisper campaign for or against any political party. Average footfall in each shop over the Country is considered to be about 30 customers every day out of which about 40% are new customers each day and 60% are repeated customers.If traders start whispering good or bad about any political party with their respective customers it influence the mindset of consumer. In earlier days it was shop of Paanwala, Tea vendor or sweet maker shop where people used to discus politics during elections and form opinion.

CAIT National President Mr. B.C. Bhartia said that there are about 7 crore traders across Country and nearly 30 crore people are dependent upon these traders for their livelihood and if their votes are converted into a vote bank, the election scenario can be changed completely. He said that trading community all over the Country feel grossly neglected as their core issues hanging fire since decades still remains unresolved. It is sad that no party has ever taken traders on its priority and no efforts were ever made to ensure systematic and structured growth of domestic trade in the Country. It is irony that traders are considered as core vote bank of BJP and that is why the other political parties keep distance from the traders whereas on the other hand BJP also never gives due importance to its core vote bank. The traders feel themselves like an orphan child in political spectrum of the Country despite their strong presence.

Mr. Bhartia said that in Delhi sealing and Rent Act are major issues whereas across Country issues like disadvantage to traders from e commerce, impact of FDI in Single Brand Retail and Cash & Carry stores, absence of any specific Ministry to oversee domestic trade, non availability of finance from banks and financial institutions, harassment and victimisation of traders at the hands of tax and other departments, facing acute corruption in Government Departments especially from lower grade officials, series of Acts, Laws and Rules governing domestic trade, no betterment of commercial markets, no proper security and safety of traders and markets where cash movement is always large, no incentives to traders for collection of tax on behalf of the Government are some of the issues which always bother traders and hamper smooth business activities


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