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HindustanTimes Sun,21 Sep 2014

East UP villagers tell tales of prosperity in Gujarat

Rajesh Kumar Singh, Hindustan Times  Bansgaon, May 10, 2014
First Published: 20:13 IST(10/5/2014) | Last Updated: 20:21 IST(10/5/2014)

In the early 1990s, Ramashrey Yadav left his village Kunwar Raja for Gujarat in search of a job. He worked as a labourer in a soap factory before landing a job in a textile unit.

Today, Yadav runs a textile factory in Surat and his son Satish is in the trading business. A palatial house stands at the spot where his ancestors lived in a hut. He owns three swanky cars and an agriculture farm spread over a 100-acre area.

Yadav is back in Kunwar Raja to tell the people the story of Gujarat, the great turnaround in his life and the development model of Narendra Modi.

This village under Gola tehsil is humming with activity these days as people from nearby villages drop in to meet Yadav, hear his rags-to-riches-story and enquire about job opportunities in 'Modi's land'.

"I have already taken 200 unemployed persons from the village to Gujarat and all of them have flourished," says Yadav, adding they would have struggled to feed their family if they had stayed back.

Neighbours envy the prosperity of Kunwar Raja village that has a mixed population of backward castes and dalits. The hutments have given way to pucca houses with tractors and cars parked nearby. The villagers say there are no 'lakheras' (anti-social elements) here and crime cases in the last five years have been negligible.

Prosperity is also writ large on the face of Shrawan Kumar, a dalit.

"My job in a textile factory in Gujarat enabled me to live my dream. Today, I have a house, agricultural land and a car. I tell villagers that I do not pay goonda or rangdari tax (extortion) in Gujarat, nor am I worried when my daughter goes shopping in the evening unlike in UP."

BJP candidate for Bansgaon LS seat Kamlesh Paswan says the migrants' success stories in Gujarat have given the party an advantage in this election.

But BSP rival Sadal Prasad brushes them aside as 'tall stories' while SP's Gorakh Paswan claims the state government's projects are better than Gujarat's. Congress candidate Sanjai Kumar is banking on schemes like MNREGA and Food Security Act.


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