Even before the first votes were cast in Varanasi, the team working for BJP’s Prime Minister-in-waiting, Narendra Modi, had begun chalking out a development plan for the city. It also seemingly gave other stakeholders a hope that the party would walk the talk in the other areas of Purvanchal region.
Varanasi, which sent Modi to Lok Sabha, will be central to BJP’s plan of taking its ‘development’ plank further into Purvanchal and, as and when time comes, reap its political benefits.
“When Modi came to Bhadohi for a rally (March 4), a member of his team got in touch with me seeking a book that I had edited in 1986. The book was a special edition on Varanasi for magazine ‘Sanmarg’ and dealt with issues relevant for revival of various aspects of Varanasi such as river Ganga, the culture, its handicrafts and several others,” said Prof Kaushal Kishore Mishra, head of department (political science), Banaras Hindu University.
- Mumbai’s Haji Ali Dargah Trust to SC: Ready to give women access to sanctum sanctorum
- Samajwadi Party Crisis: 5 Quotes By Mulayam Singh Yadav At Press Conference
- Ae Dil Hai Mushkil Vs Shivaay: What Delhites Pick
- Supreme Court Directs Vijay Mallya To Fully Disclose Foreign Assets In 4 Weeks
- 5 Reasons To Watch Ae Dil Hai Mushkil
- BSP Supremo Mayawati Criticises PM Modi Over Triple Talaq: Here’s What She Said
- Google Pixel XL Phone Review: Pros, Cons And Final Verdict
- Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar Says Army donation Is Voluntary
- Rock On 2 Trailer Launch: Farhan Akhtar, Shraddha Kapoor, Prachi Desai On Their Roles
- Cyrus Mistry’s Career Timeline
- Stalker Kills Woman At Metro Station In Gurgaon: Here’s What Happened
- Bigg Boss 10 October 24 Review: Seven Contestants Nominated For Evictions
- Power Struggle In Mulayam’s Party: Here’s What People Reacted
- 1 Dead, 5 Injured In Low Intensity Explosion In Delhi’s Naya Bazaar Area
- Delhi: Naya Bazar Explosion Cctv Footage
The contributors to the book were luminaries in their respective fields like Pandit Kishan Maharaj, Vidya Niwas Mishra, Acharya Baldev Upadhyaya and Pupul Jaykar (all Padma Vibhushan), besides several others including poets, literateurs, historians and artists. “So, it is clear that the man is not making empty noises. Rather he is serious about coming up with a development plan for Varanasi,” said Mishra.
Eastern UP Chamber of Commerce chairman, Govind Saran Darbari, said: “Even before the campaigning could end, I started getting intimations from his (Modi’s) team and some other BJP leaders asking me to keep my blueprint for development of the region ready. I told them the blueprint has been ready with me for the past 10 years, but nobody has bothered to look at it. I am hopeful now as this election seems to have broken the boundaries of caste, community and religion.”
Darbari further said that through his informal channels, he has come to know that Varanasi will be one among at least half-a-dozen cities across eastern India that will be taken up by the BJP as model cities to be showcased as model for development.
Contacted, BJP’s Kashi region chief Lakshman Acharya said people voted for BJP having seen the Gujarat model. “Similarly, Varanasi will be the model, which will pave way for similar development in Purvanchal,” he added.
Darbari, however, said that with the Samajwadi Party being pushed into a corner after today’s results, he was not expecting a dream change within a short time. “They will try to block the new central government’s programmes,” he said.
Historically, Purvanchal has always given way to a wave be it the post-emergency period or the 1984 elections or the last ascendancy of the BJP in the 1990s. However, the region has remained neglected and backward.
The SP did exceedingly well in the region in the 2012 Assembly polls. It also got a few ministers from the region. But the region has not got any project worth its name in the last two-and-a-half years.
Allahabad University Teachers’ Association president, G C Tripathi, said: “The difference between today’s results and one after the emergency was that the latter was a ‘negative’ vote arising out of anger. Today’s results are a ‘positive’ vote for development.”