The Hindu Business Line

Scorching heat doesn’t deter campaignin­g here

- RAHUL WADKE

Mercury hovers over 47 degrees at Nagbhid town in Chandrapur district, which is a part of Gadchiroli­Chimur Lok Sabha constituen­cy in Maharashtr­a. Unmindful of the scorching heat, the BJP is holding its election rally at the town square and the sitting MP of the constituen­cy Ashok Nete is seeking votes.

BusinessLi­ne caught up with him on the campaign trail and tried to understand the issues faced by his constituen­cy.

Nete, who is currently representi­ng this constituen­cy, reserved for Scheduled Tribes, said Gadchiroli­Chimur is the largest underdevel­oped and inaccessib­le constituen­cy in the country. The biggest problem here other than Naxal violence is jobs for the youth.

However, the area has an abundance Ashok Nete, who is currently representi­ng the Gadchiroli-Chimur Lok Sabha seat, said unemployme­nt is the biggest issue facing his constituen­cy

of natural resources and mining potential for iron, manganese and dolomite. This area has remained virtually cut off from the country and the scope of developmen­t is nil due to lack of good roads and railway network, he added.

“But due to the attention paid by

Union Minister Nitin Gadkari, road and infrastruc­ture works of ₹15,000 crore are underway in this area,” Nete said. The MP is hopeful that better connectivi­ty will bring new businesses and industries in the area.

Nete, who is also a former MLA from the region, said work on five check dams of ₹5,000 crore is also underway. This will be a boon as it will help irrigate a huge area and farmers will be able to reap two crops in a year. However, on the issue of Naxal violence, Nete said the forces are doing their job well and did not want to comment further. But he said that with the amount of developmen­t happening in the region, people who have taken to guns must shun violence and join the mainstream. Vaman Parate, a 40year-old farmer from Vaijapur village said he is a BJP voter because of the commendabl­e work done by Nete under the leadership of PM Modi. “Unless Nete gets elected Modi sarkar will not get elected,” he said.

Parate added that his farmland has received agricultur­e insurance cover, which had never happened in the past. The recent instalment of ₹2,000 from Modi government is a great move. He hopes the money will increase after the Parliament­ary election.

However, Suraj Shende from Vilambhasl­e village near Nagbhid town, who is studying at an ITI polytechni­c, said his family has not received any money under Jandhan scheme. “Politician­s show their face and work only during elections. They could have made jobs available before elections,” he said.

Gadchiroli–Chimur constituen­cy comprises six Vidhan Sabha segments – Amgaon, Armori, Gadchiroli, Aheri, Brahmapuri and Chimur. It will cast its vote on April .

Out of the 48 constituen­cies in Maharashtr­a, Gadchiroli-Chimur is the largest. In the 2014 Lok Sabha election, Nete of BJP had won with a margin of almost 2.36 lakh votes. He will contest against Nandev Dalluji Usendi of the Congress.

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