While the recent waterlogging crippled several parts of Patna, Jan Adhikar Party (JAP) chief and former Madhepura MP Rajesh Ranjan alias Pappu Yadav was seen wading through waist-deep water to provide food and milk packets to marooned people of Kankerbagh and Rajendra Nagar.
Yadav, a five-time MP, was seen holding two medical camps in Kankerbagh and Rajendra Nagar along with a team of private doctors, and giving first-aid kits and screening patients for dengue. In the last four days, 11 patients tested positive for dengue and are getting free treatment.
Only four tractors, a JCB machine and a “passionate political will” is needed to reach out to people, Yadav said. “During the recent waterlogging, while several politicians waited for NDRF boats, Pappu Yadav would ride a tractor or wade through water to provide milk, bread and food packets containing beaten rice and jaggery. He was the most visible politician during the crisis…” said Vindeshwari Mistri of Hanuman Nagar. Mistri had complained of fever and headache, but tested negative for dengue.
Suresh Rai, Rekha Devi, Babita Devi and Ashish Kumar, who had also visited Yadav’s medical camp at Rajendra Nagar, said Yadav was the “most accessible” politician at the time.
“Patna is not my political constituency, but I wanted to show the real faces of those who represent Patna. I want to know why Deputy CM Sushil Kumar Modi did not return to his own Rajendra Nagar colony after being rescued. What was the need of creating panic by air-dropping flood relief material —- something that two dozen tractors and JCBs could have done,” he said.
Yadav claimed to have distributed 5 lakh bottles of water, 4 lakh packets of milk besides food packets. Asked about the cost, he said he had not kept account, but it could be around Rs 2 crore. He said some of it came through public donations and the rest from his party fund.
Yadav pointed out that he had been mentioned by the then Gujarat Speaker for having contributed to the Bhuj earthquake relief. “I am from Kosi belt, and I know what my wife, former MP Ranjeet Ranjan, and I did during 2008 Kosi floods,” he said.