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Tuesday, December 01, 2020

In faraway Dehradun, Bihar migrant workers keep tabs on results

Every morning they assemble around the Clock Tower in the capital city and patiently wait to be picked up for work.

Written by Lalmani Verma | Dehradun | Updated: November 10, 2020 1:07:31 pm
Dehradun migrants, Dehradun migrant workers, Bihar elections, Bihar election results, Bihar election results 2020, Elections news, Indian ExpressThere are thousands of migrant workers from Bihar who come looking for work as construction labour in Uttarakhand's Dehradun and Haridwar districts. (File Photo)

As early trends showed a neck-and-neck contest between the ruling NDA and RJD-led grand alliance in Bihar, the excitement among migrant workers living in Dehradun is palpable as they closely track the updates on their mobiles.

There are thousands of migrant workers from Bihar who come looking for construction work in Uttarakhand’s Dehradun and Haridwar districts. Every morning they assemble around the Clock Tower in the capital city and patiently wait to be picked up by contractors.  On Tuesday, those who found work have already left, and the ones holding out in hope of better wages animatedly discuss who will be the next Chief Minister of Bihar.

Ashok Yadav, who migrated from Sheohar eight years ago, says that change is needed in the interest of the youth. “Mahagathbandhan CM candidate Tejashwi Yadav has promised government jobs and that idea has worked in Bihar polls. Youth want permanent government jobs that ensure security. They do not want a life like ours as we faced hardship and lost jobs in Convid-19 pandemic,” he says. Ashok is hopeful that the grand alliance will get a decisive lead in the next few hours and Tejashwi will become the next CM of Bihar.

But Pramod Paswan from Sitamarhi district does not agree with Ashok. “If the RJD wins, it would increase crime, he claims. “Fir sharaab bikegi. apraadh badhega and roj goliyan chalengi (Liquor sale will start again, crime incidents will increase and firings will happen.),” he says.

And in Dehradun’s Ghanta Ghar area, Darbhanga resident Madan Paswan says the results would have been different had the LJP been part of NDA.  “It appears to be a very close contest. It seems that no alliance will get a clear majority. BJP did wrong by not offering a respectable number of seats to LJP. If LJD had been with NDA, results could have been different today. Tejashwi is a young face, but Chirag Paswan too has potential,” he says.

Raghuram of Gopalganj says that no one was expecting such a close contest in Bihar. “We are expecting a clear majority for grand-alliance because the poor section is upset with Nitish Kumar. He handled lockdown in an inappropriate manner. And this is surprising that trends are not showing a clear majority to any particular group. “This can lead to horse-trading,” he said.

Counting of votes this year has been slower due to the increase in the number of polling booths and other pandemic precautions.

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