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Madhya Pradesh: No toilet in tribal house in Bhopal where Amit Shah had lunch

The tribal BJP worker has applied for a toilet under Swachh Bharat Project six months ago, but is yet to get a favourable response from the government.

india Updated: Aug 20, 2017 20:48 IST
Neeraj Santoshi
Neeraj Santoshi
Hindustan Times, Bhopal
Amit Shah,Madhya Pradesh BJP,Narendra Modi
BJP national president Amit Shah in front of Bhopal’s picturesque Upper Lake during his three-day visit to Bhopal. (PTI File picture )

It was a momentous moment for Kamal Singh Uike, a tribal BJP worker, when his party national president Amit Shah on Sunday had lunch at his hutment as part of the ruling party’s outreach to “socially-oppressed” classes.

Uike has more than one reason to be on the cloud nine. The visit has uplift his standing both in the party and the society. But more than that, he hopes, it will finally end his quest for a toilet at his house at Suraj Nagar locality.

The BJP worker is running from pillar to post for the past six months to get the toilet built under the Narendra Modi government’s flagship Swachh Bharat Project.

Talking to media persons Uike said he had applied for the toilet with the district administration over six months ago, but he did not get any positive response.

His younger brother Mukesh, who stays in the same locality, too is awaiting a government sanction for the toilet for which he had applied earlier this year.

Bhopal, the second most cleanest city in the country as per a ministry of urban development survey, was declared an open defecation free city in January this year, though many like Uike and his brother still do not have a toilet at their house.

A sum of Rs 12000 is sanctioned to an applicant for construction of toilet by the district administration.

According to the department of drinking water and sanitation website, over 44 lakh household toilets have been constructed in the state, achieving a household toilet coverage of 76.4 %.

Absence of a toilet at Uike’s hutment, which could barely accommodate five people, has now became a political issue, thanks to Shah’s visit.

Leader of the Opposition in the state assembly Ajay Singh said Shah’s claims on BJP government’s achievements in Madhya Pradesh got exposed by Uike’s predicament.

“If this is the situation in Bhopal, one could well imagine what is the situation in rest of the state,” Singh said.

The Congress leader said Shah must now evaluate the performance of chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan in the light of the harsh reality he witnessed at the house of his party worker.

Shah had given 100 marks to CM when journalists at a press conference on Saturday asked him to rate the performance of the state government.

The attention Uike’s plea for toilet got during Shah’s visit forced the state government to take notice.

Revenue minister Umashankar Gupta, who accompanied Shah to Suraj Nagar, said the application was under process and soon a toilet would be constructed at Uike’s house.

Since morning, the house was the centre of attraction for the locals. Security personnel were deployed in the whole of the Suraj Nagar and traffic was restricted in view of Shah’s visit.

The whole area was decked up and many houses had BJP flags atop them.

Shah, flanked by chief minister and state BJP chief Nandkumar Chauhan, ate Dal Baati (lentils and hard wheat rolls), Karhi- Chawal (spiced buttermilk and rice), Baingan ka bharta (mashed spiced eggplant) and a special tribal dessert called ‘Sheera’.

“I am a poor person. For me it’s like God himself had descended on my house. I am very happy. I can never forget this day in my life,” Uike told HT.

“It was a simple food. But he relished it. Shah even appreciated the food,” he added.

Shah even appreciated the food saying “Achha Bana hai.”

“It made all of us feel so happy. It is his greatness that he came to our poor house and had meals with us ,” Kiran, Kamal Uike’s wife, told HT.

Shah is on a three-day visit to the state since Friday as part of his 110-day nationwide tour to strengthen the party ahead of 2019 general elections.

In Madhya Pradesh where assembly elections are due next year, the BJP is trying to woo Dalits, tribals and other backward communities to maintain its winning streak. The BJP is in power in the state for the past over 13 years.

Of the state’s 230 assembly seats, 82 are reserved for the scheduled caste/scheduled tribe communities.

First Published: Aug 20, 2017 20:48 IST