With elections in the state approaching fast, Kokab Hamid has begun preparing to represent his constituency for the sixth time in the assembly. He is spending his days meeting people either at his haveli in Baghpat or in villages.
'Nawab Kokab', as he is popularly known, has served the state as minister of state during the reign of Congress and was then inducted as cabinet minister in the coalition governments of the BJP and Mulayam Singh Yadav. He also retained his post in the one-day government of Jagdambika Pal.
"The constituency is very complex in nature as I have to take care of the interests of both the rural and urban population together," stresses the MLA recalling how strongly he pursued the central government to raise the population limit from 1000 for development work in western UP villages. "It was impossible to find villages with population of 500 to 1000 people in western UP to get the benefit of RES works," says the MLA. He also credits himself for the Kuti Jyoti Yojna of 1987, which he facilitated as a minister of state for RES during Congress regime. Under this scheme, the state government provided connection of light and fan to poor families at a mere charge of Rs 10.
The MLA, however, believes that Rs 1.25 crore approved for the annual MLA fund is inadequate and should be increased.
Following the policy of his party, Kokab is raising the demand of a separate state for crores of inhabitants of western Uttar Pradesh. "What Mayawati has announced today is what we had pushed for when I moved the resolution for a separate Harit Pradesh for western Uttar Pradesh a decade ago," he says stressing that a separate state for people of western Uttar Pradesh is the only way to end their plight.