“Engineers, doctors, scientist, social workers are there but where are the good politicians,” says Omendra Bharat of Kanpur, a prospective Lok Sabha contestant from Aam Aadmi Party.
Trithesh Nandan | March 3, 2014
Kanpur had a glorious past—lost now, it seems, forever. Once known as the “Manchester of the East”, Kanpur now cuts a sorry picture with its garbage and congestion on roads, poor infrastructure and electricity, and textile mills closed down—ultimately leading to a slow death of the industrial hub. The city still produces best engineers in the country, though—thanks to the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT).
“The city needs good engineers, scientists and doctors but also good politicians. Engineers, doctors, scientist, social workers are there but where are the good politicians,” asks Omendra Bharat, member of Aam Aadmi Party. “Can we produce visionary politician?” The 35-year-old city lad, earlier an engineer, is hoping for the Lok Sabha ticket from AAP against congress heavyweight, coal minister and three-time MP, Sriprakash Jaiswal. Bharat takes a swipe at Jaiswal’s lackluster performance as 15-year as parliamentarian: “The willingness to work and improve the city is not in the priority list of the current MP of Kanpur.”
He bemoans Kanpur’s decline to politicians who couldn’t devote time to improve the infrastructure. Industries houses like J K, Swadeshi Cotton Mill, Elgin Mills Co. Ltd., Lal Imli, etc. were prominent once upon a time, but have now reduced to shadows of their past. Bharat left a cushy job at TCS in 2006, where he was working after completing his B.Tech and M.Tech from IIT Kanpur.
Bharat sees the problem not only of city but of the entire state of Uttar Pradesh: “The state has lagged so much in the last twenty-five years.” According to Bharat, the cities such as Kanpur can’t be developed in isolation but there should be a proper blue-print for the entire state. On Sunday, the AAP supremo and the former CM of Delhi, Arvind Kejriwal, did a rally in Kanpur.
“We need to work for the political reform of the country,” says the techie, who was the founder-member of Bharat Punarnirman Dal (founded by a bunch of IITians) in 2006 and who contested from Kanpur in 2009 for the Lok Sabha elections from the same party.
In 2011, he joined the Kejriwal-led India Against Corruption, and even worked during Delhi assembly elections for AAP as a coordinator in Chandni Chowk area. He is ready for long ordeal of politics: “I am 35, and ready for another 35 years' grinding.”
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