Canals run dry and villagers crave for drinking water in Bhabhaura village, which falls in Chakia assembly election in Chandauli district.
Rajnath Singh may never have represented Chakia or his home district Chandauli in the assembly or Parliament — this is the constituency where present Bharatiya Janata Party chief Rajnath Singh was born and brought up.
Bhabhaura is a small village in this assembly belt — the native place of former Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh and president of BJP Rajnath Singh, which falls in Chakia assembly constituency.
As this constituency also goes to polls in the sixth phase on May 3 — Rajnath Singh is no factor in the polls here. “Rajnath Singh has no interest in his village and he rarely visits here so why should it be any factor,” was the response of one Gulab Yadav of this village.
“This village should have been a model village — but the residents crave for water and worse is the irrigation scenario,” he rues. One Allaudin of the same village echoed same sentiments.
Though, there are many dams in Chakia belt — like Chandraprabha, Lateefshah, Busakhan, Basandal etc --Bhabhaura and its adjacent villages like Rampur, and Raghunathpur reeling in acute water crisis.
The canals are running dry in Rajnath's village and farmers suffer meekly and silently. Even a canal, which is passing through Bhabhaura village is not only running dry but is facing extinction.
Similarly, many villages in the constituency on either side of Lateefshah dam have been fighting for construction of a bridge for connection of villages like Kodihar, Bilawar with Danipur etc — but nothing has been done and there is no end to public worries.
“No party has taken this issue with the successive governments and the villagers are forced to use boats when heavy rain lash this area,” Santosh Kumar told HT at Lateefshah.
However, people do remember Rajnath Singh for construction of bridge in Muzafferpur area close to his Bhabhaura village when he was chief minister. But, the general feeling among the masses in his native village is that “Rajnath Singh has done nothing special for his village and the assembly constituency Chakia in view of the opposition fears.”
Though, the overall condition of roads in the Chakia is better, the road which leads to Rajnath Singh's village is in dilapidated condition. Interestingly, some about 30 Muslim families who live in the same village have supported BJP in the previous election because of Rajnath factor.
“We have been diehard supporters of BJP due to Rajnath Singh as he lives in our neighbourhood,” one Dr Mumtaz Ali, who claims to have been classmate of Rajnath told this visiting correspondent. However, the situation is different this time.
“He is no factor here as he neither visits here nor took any developmental initiate,” said Ram Kanwal, a villager. “A few people from this belt are surrounding Singh and it is difficult for common man of this village to reach to him,” said Sakeena whose two sons are handicapped.
“The people of this village have direct access to Rajnath Singh,” was the response of Kashi Nath Singh, elder brother of Rajnath Singh, BJP chief when this correspondent visited his house on Monday.
Of the total 278238 eligible voters in Chakia assembly constituency — over one and a half lakh voters are tribal and lower caste. Upper caste (40,000) and Muslim (about 20,000), Yadavs (40,000). The Naxal-hit Naugrh area is part of Chakia assembly constituency.
BJP has fielded Abha Rani Bhaleya after withdrawing ticket to the sitting BJP legislator Tapasya Paswan. Samajwadi Party has fielded its former legislator Satya Prakash Sonkar while BSP has fielded Jitendra Ram. Significantly, Ramkreet Kol, brother-in-law of Rs 1 lakh awardee hardcore Naxalite commander Sanjay Kol is also in the fray.