Trithesh Nandan | March 1, 2014
In 2012, Samajwadi Party (SP) came to power in Uttar Pradesh promising good governance. Two year later, as general elections are near, people are disillusioned Akhilesh’s government. In Mathura, the anger is palpable: people complain about lawlessness, lack of electricity, their Rashtriya Lok Dal member of parliament, Jayant Chaudhary.
“In the last four and half years, he hardly visited his constituency. People hardly benefitted from his tenure. Now he is trying to reclaim his ground,” says Arun Singh, who hopes to get the BJP ticket for upcoming Lok Sabha elections from Mathura. The constituency has 23 percent of jat voters; thakurs stand second at 17 percent. Singh, a thakur, is a relative of BJP president Rajnath Singh.
Singh asks why the ancient city, despite its religiosity, gets less electricity than the neighbouring district of Etawah. “Every year one crore people visit the place despite its poor infrastructure facilities,” he says. “Why can’t we make Mathura an international tourist hub? Why don’t we have an international airport in the city despite attracting sizeable chunk of tourists from abroad?”
Singh, an outsider to Mathura, has made the constituency his home. In the last two years, he has visited more than 375 villages of the constituency which has more temples than any other part of the country. Singh, who started as a chartered accountant, first came to Vrindavan to audit Ram Krishna Mission 30 years ago. After he gave up his profession 15 years ago, Singh has devoted all his time in politics.
Development in Etawah, the hometown of SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav, is picking up. “Every time SP comes to power, the city gets some development. Though we would have liked to see more development, we will still vote for SP in the general elections,” says a local businessman. In Etawah and Firozabad, SP’s hoardings are conspicuous; BJP has posters too, but, surprisingly, Congress and Bahujan Samajwadi Party don’t: could that be a sign of which parties are gaining turf.
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