Daily wage earner, tutor— meet the underdogs in race for GB Nagar seat
While the candidates of the BJP, Congress and BSP-SP have the might of national parties to bank on, the 10 others in the fray in Gautam Budh Nagar have only their wits and hard work to bring about an upset victory this polls.
From a daily wage earner and tutor to an assistant professor and health professional, the remaining 10 are an eclectic mix who hope to win the seat based on issues that matter — health, education and security.
Clearly, they are the underdogs and they know it. But they are here to fight the good fight — even if they don’t win, they would have highlighted issues they believe would otherwise be neglected. The candidates say MP Dr Mahesh Sharma has irked many by not visiting the constituency or addressing local issues.
Vinod Nagar of the Rashtriya Bhartiya Jan Jan Party, and an assistant professor of Noida International University (NIU), said that he wanted to address the issue of unemployment and farmers’ plight.
“People from outside come to work in Noida, but the local youth do not get jobs. Roads in villages are in a pathetic condition and farmers never get their due,” Nagar said.
The congress candidate Arvind Kumar Singh is a former chancellor of NIU, the same university where Nagar teaches Hindi. “Singh is a good person, but people vote for those they have interacted with more. The staff and students will vote for me,” Nagar said.
Sher Singh Upadhyay of the Rashtriya Janata Party is a labour union leader and is fighting for improvement in labour laws and increase in minimum wages. “There are over 20,000 factories in Gautam Budh Nagar and just one court to address labour issues. People have cases pending for 20-25 years. Many spend their entire life’s earnings in fighting cases against factories,” Upadhyay said.
He said he has the support of the locals and is confident of giving the prominent parties a run for their money.
“There are about 10 lakh labourers in the region, if all of them support me, I will win. We have also started a one vote-one rupee campaign, asking people to pledge their support and donate one rupee to my campaign,” Upadhyay said.
Rampal of the Rashtriya Samaj Paksh is a tutor of all subjects till class 10 and English and Hindi for classes 11 and 12.
“The current MP is facing flak for not addressing local issues. I am going to focus on improving education. There should be one syllabus for all students and education should be subsidised for all,” Rampal said. He is banking on teachers in the district and the Gadhedia, Pal and Bhagel communities to vote for him.
Rodas Gupta is one of the two independent candidates. He has six masters degrees to his credit. Gupta said he has ensured that nobody presses NOTA (none of the above)here. “All those who were going to press NOTA are going to vote for me. People respect me for my social service. Development and resolving local issues will be my focus,” Gupta said.