Uttar Pradesh: Selling Idea Of Development
Tickets and winnability of a candidate is fixed on castes while the politically correct pitch is on development
There is little doubt in my mind that most politically correct agenda on which the elections are fought these days is development. The Uttar Pradesh polls was no different. The sitting Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav claimed that he had taken the state to new heights of development. And the BJP was busy exposing him on how Uttar Pradesh was still way far behind from some other states. But have you even understood that an issue like development on which posters advertising and slogans are made. How it takes a back seat as the elections progress. Is not that abnormal.
Yes it is. Because this talk of development moves ahead with the pace of electioneering and all of a sudden break is applied to the issue that catches the attention of political parties and new issues start coming to the fore. Same happened in these UP polls. The real development at large for the people started missing form the speeches as they swiftly moved to a usual slinging match. On one hand power players in Lucknow narrated development as Agra Expressway and Lucknow Metro, on the other hand people enjoying power in Delhi started expressing their commitment of supplying power 24x7 and constituting Bundelkhand and Poorvanchal development boards. But do these claims and counter claims carry seriousness.
Since the days of Indira Gandhi and GARIBI HATAO every political party is selling dreams of development to the people of largest populated state of our Country. But in so many years and from Congress to BJP and Mayawati to Samajwadi Party , the reality on the ground fails to impress .Just take a look at western and eastern side of state. Western side starts from Saharanpur and goes to Auraiya and Itawa covering 28 districts. Eastern side starts in north western Behraich and goes upto Sonebhadra covering 30 districts. Both parts are equal so far as population and literacy are concerned. But look at the difference. Western Uttar Pradesh has 812 factory workers per lakh population whereas eastern part’s factory workers number are 96 per lakh. Western UP has 12.7 registered factories in a lakh population, eastern Up has 1.8 registered factories. Western side power consumption is 360kw per capita and this is 156 kw per capita in eastern part of state. More than 86% of land in eastern part of state is cultivated by small and marginal farmers with less than a hectare of land, compared to 74% in the western UP.
The truth is that the same political class which talks of development actually uses a ladder to climb in politics and to get elected in the first place. That ladder is called caste and the caste based politics. From elections in Bihar to UP. The story is no different. Tickets and winnability of a candidate is fixed on castes while the politically correct pitch is on development. So much so that it is eventually caste that determines the highest leadership as well.
Before the beginning of UP elections some surveys showed that voters in UP are keen on development, they want to see rise in employment and curb on rising prices. But did it actually change the agenda of political parties. The answer is no. It was just good to sound to TV, Radio listeners.
To conclude having seen the politics of Uttar Pradesh since mid-nineties. It is way too far from the fact that any UP elections can be fought only on the agenda of development. Parts of Uttar Pradesh from Bundelkhand to Eastern UP needs so much to change for themselves beyond development boards and packages. And having travelled extensively to rural parts of my state the day that happens an election in Uttar Pradesh will really be fought on development. Till then development is a great topic for governmental and non-governmental advertising.
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