iconimg Thursday, September 03, 2015

Pankaj Jaiswal, Hindustan Times
Saifai (Etawah), February 22, 2012
Booth number 195 in Saifai village of Jaswant Nagar constituency is swarming with commandos — conducting checks, installing LMGs (light machine gun) and doing an elaborate recce of the area surrounding the booth.

The booth situated in a village that is the birthplace of SP chief Mulayam Singh and his entire clan — brother Shivpal and son Akhilesh included — has been declared  “hypersensitive” by the EC. Come Thursday the entire clan will cast its vote in Saifai.

The booth earned itself the “hypersensitive” epithet after the 1991 poll violence, in which six people died following rigging, firing and lathi-charge in the area.

The “hypersensitive” part notwithstanding; the village itself is as idyllic as it gets. It has a medical college, a rural medical science research institute, an airstrip and an astro turf hockey stadium equipped with floodlights.