Rahul Gandhi would win LS seat a third time but by a lesser margin; BJP, AAP set to work their way into overall voter disgruntlement
Deevakar Anand | April 24, 2014
In Amethi, there is no palpable ‘Modi wave’ OR ‘BJP lehar’. Nor do the voters here identify themselves much with the Aam Aadmi Party’s (AAP) anti-corruption pitch.
In contrast, the Gandhi family still evokes emotional support among the residents.
Yet, the Congress party’s sitting MP and vice-president Rahul Gandhi could well be the biggest loser here.
BJP candidate Smriti Irani and AAP’s Kumar Vishwas may not win in this hitherto Gandhi family stronghold – since 1980, when Sanjay Gandhi won from here, the seat has been retained by brother Rajiv followed by Sonia Gandhi and now Rahul since 2004 – but Amethi voters are likely to make a huge shift in loyalty when the constituency goes to the polls on May 7.
Voters here are still to be overwhelmed by either Narendra Modi or Kejriwal but Rahul Gandhi’s style of politics has left them confused. As a result, despite Gandhi bagging the seat, the BJP and AAP looks set to plough big into this confusion.
At Jagdishpur in Amethi, Rajneesh Singh, 38, a “traditional Congress voter”, said “Rahul bhaiya” would win this time, too, but claimed he will vote for BJP in this election. “Rahul bhaiya remains in our hearts but he has failed to help the poor farmers,” said Singh, a Rajput farmer, pointing to little that the two-time Congress MP has done to waive off loans for farmers and increase the minimum support price for their crops.
At Saalpur village, a few kilometers ahead towards the Amethi district headquarters, 28-year-old Maroof Khan, another “traditional” Congress voter who runs a middle school (with classes up to eighth standard), said though he will still vote for Gandhi, he will do so due to “lack of a concrete choice.”
Khan’s school has asbestos sheets for a roof, has no walls, and dust and heat sweeps across the open classrooms as the April heat gathers steam. Yet, the school is filled to the brim.
That, too, Khan said, is due to the lack of an option. “Parents don’t have much choice around here. There is dearth of government schools and most private schools charge high fees and do not offer quality education,” he said. “Here, the facilities may not be good but our fee is nominal and we are known to provide good education.”
Talking about his MP, Khan said, “Rahul Gandhi never comes in this area. He returns from the Munshi Ganj guesthouse, which is about 12 kilometres away.”
Both Singh and Khan believe Gandhi’s winning margin in this election will go down heavily.
Amethi, sadly, is bearing the brunt of apathy at the hands of the state government as well. It is caught between the confusion on who will carry out the civic and development work, and a greater confusion on who might take the credit of bringing any visible change here – the local MP or the state government.
BJP’s Smriti Irani and AAP’s Kumar Vishwas are camping in Amethi and undertaking rigorous campaigning .
Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray has launched three state-of-the-art human DNA units under the Nirbhaya Scheme for efficiency in criminal investigations. A wildlife DNA unit in Nagpur makes Maharashtra the country’s first state to have a forensic testing lab for animals.
The Midway Battle: Modi’s Roller-coaster Second Term By Gautam Chintamani Bloomsbury / 400 pages / Rs 699 Gautam Chintamani, a film historian and author, has penned an in-depth chronicle of prime minister Narendra Modi’s second
Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray has instructed the Mumbai civic authorities to take immediate action on unauthorized constructions on war footing. In a virtual meeting held on Wednesday, Thackeray said no illegal construction will be tolerated in Mumbai and called upon the BMC to
After extending timings of shops and restaurants as well as the reopening of cinema halls and theatres under specified SOPs from October 22, in view of the festive cheer, the Maharashtra government has allowed restaurants and eateries to remain open till 12AM and shops and establishments to function till 1
Rubbishing the recently released Global Hunger Index 2021, wherein India has slipped to 101 position to be placed below Pakistan, Nepal and Bangladesh, Arvind Panagariya, professor of economics at Columbia University and former vice chairman, NITI Aayog, has said that data collection and methodologies used
A long life span free from diseases and disability, the so-called healthy aging, has been a matter of prime interest to humanity. It is widely held that the life expectancy is a function of interplay between various genetic and environmental factors. There is scientific evidence to support the fact that on