As assembly election in Uttar Pradesh nears, Bundelkhand finds itself amidst hectic political activity with leaders making a beeline in the region. Already, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi, Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, BJP’s legislature leader Suresh Khanna have visited Bundelkhand.
In coming days, the region will find itself amidst many saviours – opposition parties trying to project failure of the state government while ruling party claiming to have offered many sops eliminating the hardships of people.
For the past several years Bundelkhand is witnessing the same drama.
The reason being Bundelkhand provides easy hunting ground to political parties due to its poverty stricken villages. With considerable Dalit and other backward class population, the region serves dual purpose. It becomes easy target for political parties for projecting their pro―poor image.
Every party makes an effort that it pitches Bundelkhand so hard that it becomes an issue in Hindi heartland―Uttar Pradesh. Water crisis, migration of villagers and corruption in Bundelkhand package all provide a good package for political parties.
It is due to this that Rahul Gandhi, during his foot-march in Mahoba on January 23, targeted PM Narendra Modi for ignoring farmers, while CM Akhilesh Yadav inaugurated several projects for Bundelkhand on January 27 and questioned Rahul’s contribution for the region. Prior to it, Chief Secretary Alok Ranjan had spent a night in Banda on January 13 to prepare ground for CM’s visit. Akhilesh also announced pension for all poor in Bundelkhand and solving water crisis issue within next 10 months.
Perhaps, Akhilesh does not want to leave any inch of space for any political party. Amidst this, BJP’s Suresh Khanna too visited the region and is now armed with a report about acute water crisis in the region which he claims to raise in Vidhan Sabha.
Ironically, Bundelkhand region has no political importance in a vast state like UP. The region comprising seven districts – Lalitpur, Jhansi, Chitrakoot, Mahoba, Banda, Hamirpur and Jalaun – contribute only 19 assembly seats in the total strength of 403. On the other hand Lucknow division with six districts accounts for 47 assembly seats. The priority for political parties is quite clear―where to devote their energies. Due to this, the politicians may raise the bogey of Bundelkhand but in reality the region has seen little of development.