Rural areas witnessing a lull in political activities

Farmers are busy harvesting their crops and it might take another month before they start giving a thought about whom to vote for.
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Updated on Oct 21, 2003 04:06 PM IST
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PTI | ByKS Tomar, Nawalgarh

Despite the announcement of Assembly elections in Rajasthan, political activities are yet to begin in rural parts of the Shekhawati region. Reason: harvesting time. Farmers here are busy harvesting their crops and it might take another month before they start giving a thought about whom to vote for.

Though the State witnessed a good monsoon this year, but most of the villages in Sikar, Jhunjhunu, Churu, Sikar and Bikaner districts did not receive adequate rains. And thus, farmers here are more worried about how to meet their annual expenditures than polls.

It is not that they are not aware of the polls date, but they just don’t want to talk about it. At least, not during the harvesting time. You have to goad them to know about their opinions and whom they would want to see as their representative in the Assembly.

Bharoo Khan of village Pajsar in Fatehpur tehsil said his community would vote for the party that would promise to preserve amicable relations between the Hindus and Muslims.

DCs of Jhunjhunu and Sikar, Kunji Lal Meena and Ram Rakh, told the Hindustan Times that political activities would pick up in villages and urban areas only after the announcement of the candidates by political parties. Interestingly, none of the ministers or sitting MLAs could be seen campaigning in the villages indicating that they might be averse to expose themselves before filing of the nominations papers.

The fallout of four years of consecutive drought could be seen on the rural economy, which had even converted APL families into BPL.

Several villagers were indifferent towards politicians as they accused them of neglecting their areas during the past five years. They regretted that some of the ministers and MLAs did not bother about their grievances hence it might not be easy for them to retain their seats.

Low rung leaders of the Congress and the BJP could be seen in their party offices that might witness political activities after the announcement of the candidates. These leaders said that ticket-seekers were camping in Jaipur or Delhi to make sure their candidature for the polls.

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