It's Dacoits versus Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) on the majority of Vidhan Sabha seats in Banda and Chitrakoot districts.
In the last assembly election (2002) BSP had captured five out of the six Vidhan Sabha seats, including Manikpur and Karbi (Chitrakoot district) and Baberu, Banda and Naraini (Banda district). Samajwadi Party managed to bag only Tindwari Vidhan Sabha seat in Banda district.
This time rather than rival political parties, dacoits are proving to be a nightmare for the BSP candidates in both districts. The poll is scheduled on April 28.
To flush out the dacoits, the police department had launched an anti - dacoit operation in the area. Still dacoits are calling the shots in Banda. They have issued 'farman' (order) in the villages to support their candidates.
BSP has denied ticket to its sitting MLA Dr Surendra Pal Verma in Naraini and fielded Purushottam Naresh while SP has fielded Brij Gopal Kushwaha , BJP- Captain Pradhuman Naresh Azad and Congress Mohammad Sohaib Alam. But BSP candidate is facing tough challenge from Piyariya Devi, mother of dreaded dacoit Thokia. She is contesting election on the RLD ticket.
Thokia has directed the voters in villages in Kalinjar and Baghen river basin area to cast their vote on the hand pump symbol. After the crackdown on the sympathisers and supporters of Thokia by the police, the BSP and other political parties have launched their campaign in the area.
The situation is no different in Baberu. Here BSP has fielded its sitting MLA Gaya Charan Dinkar while SP has given ticket to Vishambhar Singh Yadav, Congress to Indrajeet Yadav, Apna Dal to Krishna Devi Patel and RLD has given the ticket to Bhola Prasad Khengar. Two dacoits have fielded their kith as independent candidates. Dacoit Umar Kewat has fielded his daughter-in-law Siya Devi while dacoit Nathu Kewat has fielded his daughter Santosha. Members of both the gangs are campaigning actively in this constituency, urging the people to vote for their respective candidates.
There is straight contest between SP candidate and Minister Vishambhar Prasad Nishad and BSP candidate Shankar Singh in Tindawari. In Banda, sitting MLA and BSP candidate Babulal Kushwaha is locked in a triangular contest with Congress candidate Vivek Singh and SP candidate Sirajdhawaj Singh.
Dacoit Dadua is working hard to upset the applecart of BSP on two Vidhan Sabha seats located in the neighbouring Chitrakoot district.
Dadua has already issued a diktat asking the villagers to support SP candidates in both Karbi and Manikpur .
Sitting MLA from Karbi RK Singh Patel is contesting on SP ticket after BSP expelled him from the party. BSP candidate Dinesh Mishra is challenging Patel. In Manikpur BSP has fielded its sitting MLA Daddu Prasad while SP has fielded Satyanarayan. SP candidates hope that with Daduas support they will be able to tilt the support in their favour.