Ghaziabad: Politicians never return after winning the elections, say Khoda residents

As Khoda goes to polls on November 26, residents of the migrant colony claim that they have been treated as battle fodder in polls.

noida Updated: Nov 13, 2017 15:38 IST
Vaibhav Jha
Vaibhav Jha
Hindustan Times, Ghaziabad
Ghaziabad municipal polls,Ghaziabad civic elections,Khoda colony
Ghaziabad, India - November 10, 2017: Residents in Khoda are forced to live amidst dirt and garbage, in Ghaziabad, India, on Friday, November 10, 2017. (Photo by Sunil Ghosh / Hindustan Times)(Sunil Ghosh/HT Photo)

As Khoda goes to polls on November 26, residents of the migrant colony claim that they have been treated as battle fodder in polls. They allege that no political party is paying heed to their demands of water supply, infrastructure and sewage system.

Khoda, which houses more than a million people, is situated on the border of Noida, Ghaziabad and Delhi. A total of 1.62 lakh registered voters will decide the first chairman of the municipal body in the upcoming civic polls. The chairman’s seat is reserved for a woman this time.

The area has been witnessing frequent rallies by candidates who are backed by political parties. This time for the chairperson’s post, Khoda is slated for a two-way contest between the wife of a slain political leader and the wife of the accused and a former MLA.

However, residents say that their demands fall last on the list of priorities of political parties.

Seventy-seven-year-old Dhuri Singh, a veteran who has seen several elections, said, “Khoda has been politically charged during every poll as there are Congress, BJP, BSP or SP factions among the people and they are used for all rallies. The politicians come to our area during campaigning but never return. This has been the case for decades.”

Pankaj Kumar, another resident of Prakash Nagar, Khoda, says that the residents’ demands are ‘not even heard by the leaders’. “After the murder of a prominent BJP leader in Khoda in September, the contest for the chairman’s seat has now been reduced to a vendetta and settling of scores, for the parties. Demands of the people have been sidelined. Khoda has just one government school, that too only till class eight. There is no girl’s college in the locality either. Not much emphasis is given to the education of the younger generation. We don’t even have a community centre here,” said Kumar.

A resident of Matrika Vihar, who did not wish to be named, said residents are used only as a vote bank.

“Many people don’t have proper documents for their houses but many have procured voter ID cards after just staying here for one year. Different areas are strongholds of different political parties and the residents are protected by political parties in return for assured votes in the polls,” she said.

However, Yasmin’s claims were refuted by Kalu Bhai, a local politician. He said, “Khoda civic polls are being contested on developmental issues. We have many demands such as supply of drinking water, the numbering of houses, setting up of girls’ college and sewage system. ”

First Published: Nov 13, 2017 15:16 IST