Modi's Varanasi is in sham­bles, but peo­ple will back him

Youth Street News - - Music -

In Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi's con­stituency Varanasi, you would find no hint of "Swachh Bharat" or "Smart City", re­veal­ing to you the sad truth that the hyped cam­paigns of the NDA gov­ern­ment at the Cen­tre re­main a farce. And if this be the case in the most VIP con­stituency of the coun­try, it would not be dif­fi­cult to imag­ine what to ex­pect in tier two cities or smaller towns.

The holy city will un­pleas­antly sur­prise you with its bumpy roads, open garbages, naked wires hang­ing in con­gested streets and the bizarre scene of cows roam­ing all around. The YSN team toured many ar­eas of the city, only to be dis­ap­pointed that tall talk by BJP'S cen­tral lead­ers and the PM him­self are yet to be ex­e­cuted.

In Par­tic­u­lar, the Daulat­pur Road was dirty and in­ter­valled

fre­quently with pot­holes. Both sides of the road were lit­tered with wastes and there was no mu­nic­i­pal staff in sight. In many places, con­struc­tion ma­te­rial of pri­vate houses were spread well into the mid­dle of the road, ob­struct­ing traf­fic, and sar­don­ically an­nounc­ing to you the com­plete lack of ad­min­is­tra­tion.

In Lalpur road, the YSN team found most shop­keep­ers sweep­ing their in­di­vid­ual places and brush­ing off the dirt to a nearby lam­post or into the ad­join­ing open drains, in what seemed like an un­wit­ting re­bel­lion to PM'S am­bi­tious call for "Swachh Bharat". Open cow­sheds dot­ted the place, with cow-dung and cow-urine spread in­ter­mit­tently across the road, mak­ing the pedes­tri­ans strug­gle to walk.

At the out­skirts, in the main road that you would take to visit Aza­m­garh, your jour­ney will be rough and patchy. Fre­quent jerks will trou­ble you; some of them so hard that your sta­tion­ary items or of­fice files kept in the seat would fall down each time.

In Mus­lim dom­i­nated pock­ets like Do­shipura and Lal­la­pura, the sit­u­a­tion is worse. The place will strike you with its open drains and un­kempt roads. It seemed as if the mu­nic­i­pal staff rarely vis­its the area. All ba­sic in­fras­truc­tural fa­cil­i­ties that you might ex­pect in a VIP district are miss­ing to­tally. The lanes are con­gested and street­lights are nowhere to be found. "Ya h a to aisa hi hai, koi khabar­leneb­hi­nahi­aata. Things are like this only. No­body comes to en­quire about our dif­fi­cul­ties," said a mid­dle-aged woman who re­sides in Do­shipura.

In most of the main lo­cal­i­ties, in­clud­ing the well known­si­gra or Ti­laiyabagh that is a cou­ple of kilo­me­tres away, you would not spot traf­fic po­lice. Many of the traf­fic light­ing sys­tems—if they are present at all—are dys­func­tional. The Ganges banks it­self is un­clean and not much has been done to de­velop it into a her­itage at­trac­tion, con­trary to what the PM had vowed to do.

Yet, sur­pris­ing as it may seem, you would find a great num­ber of Modi sup­port­ers. In the main veg­etable mar­ket in Lahtara lo­cal­ity, most of the veg­etable shop own­ers, ped­dlers and snack-shop own­ers told this team that they will vote for the BJP can­di­dates in the Assem­bly elec­tions in the name of PM Modi. "Teeno seat Modi ko­jayenge. Hin­duokaek­tarfa vote Moiko­jayega. All three seats will go to Modi. Hin­dus will unite and back the Prime Min­is­ter," said a man in his 40s who was also an ad­vo­cate.

"Modi ka la­har hai. It's a wave for Modi,' quipped a house­wife who was buy­ing gro­cery in a store in Ti­layabagh. How­ever, BJP in­sid­ers say that bar­ring Varanasi North, the BJP is in for a tough com­pe­ti­tion from the Sp-congress al­liance both in Varanasi South and Varanasi Can­ton­ment. The Prime Min­is­ter's con­stituency has three Assem­bly seats—varanasi North, Varanasi South and Varanasi Can­ton­ment. All three have in­cum­bent BJP MLAS, but ticket dis­tri­bu­tion has been faulty in Varanasi South where sev­en­time MLA Shyamdeo Roy Choud­hary, pop­u­lar among the lo­cals as Dada, has been re­placed by a novice Neelka­n­thtri­pa­thy who lacks pub­lic con­nect.

"South ka seat atak­gaya­hai. Shayad Congress jeet­jaye. The BJP may not be able to win Varanasi South. Prob­a­bly, the Congress will," said a BJP war-room in­sider, re­fus­ing to be quoted. The Congress has given ticket to Ra­jesh Ku­mar Mishra in Varanasi South who has pre­vi­ously been an MP from the PM'S seat. All three con­stituen­cies vote on March 8. Re­sults across Ut­tar Pradesh will be an­nounced on March 11.

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