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Lok Sabha elections 2019:Voters want Firaq’s Bansgaon to be declared a district

Basgaon is a reserved constituency and the second Lok Sabha seat of Gorakhpur district

lok sabha elections Updated: May 15, 2019 19:18 IST
Abdul Jasdid
Abdul Jasdid
Hindustan Times, Gorakhpur
Lok Sabha elections 2019,Bansgaon,Gorakhpur district
Firaq’s ancestral house in Banwarpar village of Gorakhpur.(Hindustan Times)

An old-styled dilapidated house in Banwarpar village of Bansgaon town, about 20 km from the district headquarter, is the lone memorial of famous Urdu Poet Firaq Gorakhpuri, whose poetries are still alive in the hearts of locals, who would cast their vote in the 7th and last phase on May 19.

Also known for its fertile land and ‘bahubali’ (musclemen) leaders like Harishankar Tiwari, Basgaon is a reserved constituency and the second Lok Sabha seat of Gorakhpur district -the first one being Gorakhpur Sadar, which has been represented for over 19 years, between 1998 and 2017, by chief minister Yogi Adityanath.

In Bansgoan, sitting BJP MP Kamlesh Paswan is locked in direct poll battle with Alliance candidate Sadal Prasad, as the nomination of Congress candidate Kush Tiwari was rejected along with 28 others on April 29.

Kamlesh Paswan, who won 2009 and 2014 elections, got politics as a legacy. He, however, earned a bad name after his name figured last year in city’s Baldev Plaza land grab case and his alleged involvement in the deadly attack on Kashif Khan, brother of suspended BRD pediatrician Dr Kafeel Khan. Kafeel himself is out on bail after serving six months in jail in connection of the 2017 BRD oxygen tragedy. However, Paswan has rejected all the charges against him.

Also read: Lok Sabha elections 2019: Young contenders lock horns in poll arena

His father Om Paswan, a local leader, was killed in a bomb explosion during a public meeting in 1995 and, riding the sympathy wave, Kamlesh’s mother Subhawati Paswan won the 1996 general election, becoming the first ever woman MP from east UP.

In 2017, Kamlesh’s younger brother Vimlesh Paswan won the assembly election on BJP ticket from Bansgaon Vidhan Sabha constituency.

BSP candidate (now of Alliance) Sadal Prasad had contested unsuccessfully against Kamlesh Paswan in 2014 and secured second position by getting 2.28 lakh votes against Paswan’s 4.17 lakh votes during the Modi wave.

Though, rejection of nomination of Congress candidate Kush Tiwari, a Brahmin, is said to be a move benefiting the BJP, locals believe that like other seats, here too the Alliance is in strong position to counter the BJP.

As Kamlesh Paswan was in news for wrong reasons, some BJP supporters are unhappy with him, but still backing BJP in the name of Modi and Yogi.

“He has been an MP for the last ten years but did nothing for development,“said Mukesh Rastogi, a retired bank officials and BJP supporter.

Also read: Lok Sabha elections 2019: EVMs in three-tier security, yet parties keep close watch

However, a confident Kamlesh Paswan said: “This election is being fought under the leadership of Modi Ji, who has raised the pride of countrymen and nation in the world. Our seat is going to polls in the last phase and we hope that votes will rain here in the name of Modi Ji.” He said this as his cavalcade moved to Numaish ground to attend a public meeting of Yogi Adityanath.

A few kilometres away, Alliance candidate Sadal Prasad is busy moving from door to door seeking votes in the name of Akhilesh and Mayawati. “BJP will get blown up in the wave of the Alliance. Not only in Basgaon, but in all the constituencies they will be get wiped out,” he said. But local leaders say the demand to declare Bansgaon as separate district was among the issues of the constituency.

The Lok Sabha seat, comprising four five Vidhan Sabha constituencies, has over 17.30 lakh voters, including 9 lakh women electorates.

First Published: May 15, 2019 13:20 IST