Madhepura: Old tactics, new players in Yadav land

This time incumbent JD(U) MP Dinesh Chandra Yadav is facing contest from RJD’s professor Chandradeep.
Madhepura: Old tactics, new players in Yadav land

NEW DELHI: Going to polls in the third phase on May 7, Madhepura Lok Sabha constituency, popularly known as Bihar’s “Yadav land”, reflects a picture of poverty across its hinterland.

Since it was created as a constituency from Saharsa in 1967, it has been electing MPs from the Yadav community, who constitutes 25% of its population. This time incumbent JD(U) MP Dinesh Chandra Yadav is facing contest from RJD’s professor Chandradeep.

Half-naked children are seen sheltering themselves from the skin-burning sun under roadside trees laden with mangoes and rural women helping their male counterparts in harvesting wheat crop. Unmindful of whose vehicle passes by, farmers are carrying bundles of wheat to nearby threshing grounds.

“I am busy taking care of my six milch animals, so don’t have time to know what’s going on in the elections,” said villager Brijnandan Yadav, 70, sitting under a tree.

Mundrika Yadav, 65, said, “Here politicians only ask for votes in the name of caste; no one talks about development. Yes, after Nitish Kumar came to power, at least homes have started getting tap water and you can see women cooking on free gas stoves. But 60% of gas stoves have become useless due to lack of cylinders.”

Some people were seen selling and buying vegetables in a village haat on the way to the district headquarters. After buying vegetables, Reena Devi, taunting Bihar CM Nitish Kumar, said, “He had camped here in 2019 for three days to ensure victory of his party candidate. This time too, he is camping for three days. Except on election time, he never comes.”

Akhilesh Yadav, 45, who runs a private school, said the election has deviated from real issues. “This time also election is being fought on caste equations, not development.”.

Madhepura is the native district of BP Mandal, who was the first MP from this seat in 1967 and chairman of the Second Backward Classes Commission (Mandal Commission). “Even though we are a politically conscious district, bad roads, lack of arrangements for higher education except one university, unemployment and mass migration of labourers speak of our miserable conditions,” said retired teacher Arun Kumar Mandal.

In 1998 and 2004, RJD president Lalu Prasad had won the poll battle against Sharad Yadav here. “This time too the contest is between two Yadav candidates,” said Nirmal Kumar, a garments shop owner. “Issues are secondary and results are decided finally on polarisation of castes and division of Yadav voters on the lines of ‘Krishnauth’ and ‘Majhnautha’,” he said.

“The deeper you go in rural areas, the more slums you see. Though Mandal Commission report had given a new direction to rights of the poor, poverty remains the identity of Madhepura,” said Aftab Alam, a private firm employee.

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