KANPUR DEHAT: If too many cooks spoil the broth, one should come to Kanpur Dehat to see how. The district is served by four MPs but stands as a glaring example of complete political apathy. Welcome to the home district of President Ram Nath Kovind.
After the delimitation exercise of 2009, Kanpur Dehat got four assembly segments Rasoolabad (reserved), Akbarpur Raniya, Sikandra and Bhognipur belonging to Kannauj, Akbarpur, Etawah (R) and Jalaun (R) Lok Sabha constituencies respectively. Of the four parliamentary seats, BJP has sitting MPs in three while Kannauj is represented by Dimple Yadav, wife of SP chief Akhilesh Yadav. However, whenever its people have demanded basic amenities, none of the four MPs has delivered.
“The district could have been a model in terms of development if all the four MPs had spent even a small chunk of their MPLAD funds to mitigate the problems of the people of their respective constituencies,” said Brijendra Gupta, a political observer.
All the four MPs — Dimple Yadav, Devendra Singh Bhola, Ashok Dohre and Bhanu Pratap Singh Verma — did attend meetings of district development panels but took no effort to give shape to development.
The irony doesn’t end here. As one approaches Kanpur Dehat, plants of a number of multinational giants — Nerolac, Pepsi, Amul and HPCL— can be seen on either side of NH-19 but unemployment is a major issue. “All the manpower is ferried to work from Kanpur city or other places. Those of Kanpur Dehat is taken only as daily wagers,” said Ram Surat Agarwal, 46, a contractor. “Kanpur Dehat has two National Highways but not a single bus station. It has two broad gauge railway tracks passing through it but hardly any express train has a stoppage here,” he said. The district had 500 such industrial units in 1981 which has dwindled to 250.
Besides unemployment and non-development, voters of Akbarpur also talk of the plight of potato growers, lack of higher education institutions and hospitals. Akbarpur, which largely covers Kanpur Dehat district, has Devendra Singh Bhola as the sitting MP. BJP has reposed faith in him in the wake of predominant upper castes, believed to be a dedicated vote bank of the BJP.
However, the SP-BSP alliance is pinning hopes on the Dalit-Muslim-Yadav combination though Congress’ Rajaram Pal, MP since 2009. Rural voters of Akbarpur are tight-lipped about their preferences. However, they openly acknowledge the benefits of Central welfare schemes like housing, Ujjwala, toilets and PDS supplies.