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“It’s my approach to strengthen the democracy and for that I have to avoid the scorching Sun and walk to my polling station,” opted Rubi Rani, a college student and also a first time voter at a polling station at Bhagalpur. But when she was asked about her preference for selecting the candidate, she helplessly hailed the main stream political parties for projecting majority of the candidates this time on the basis of caste lines.
Though heavy turnout in the polling booths this morning shows the interests of voters in the 5 Lok Sabha seats mostly spread across eastern parts of Bihar. But many voters like Rubi were confused to press the EVM button before the names of their ‘suitable’ candidates.
“For the first time I have been witnessing the change this time- most of the political parties are less concentrating on development issues and even the candidates didn’t approach the voters like previous time. The entire set up has been changed into caste lines, this is very unfortunate,” lambasted Ganga Mandal, a 78 year-old voter at Pirpainti in Bhagalpur.
“In this second phase Bhagalpur along with Banka, Purnea , Katihar and Kishanganj today goes for the polls but nobody is interested about development. All the parties are fighting on caste lines,” alleged many.
Bhagalpur Lok Sabha seat is perhaps the classic example where voters are maximum annoyed due to the apathy of ruling parties, mainly BJP and JDU. “What hell the politicians in ruling parties had done development in comparison to other places? Walk on the broken roads your will find it,” pointed out Raghunath Ghosh, a retired teacher here.
“It was Bhagwat Jha Azad, the than MP from Bhagalpur in Congress era who contributed lots for Bhagalpur. After him could you name any of his successors who contributed for Bhagalpur?” asked Binod Choudhary, a school teacher here.
Many alleged politicians for ignoring the potentialities of Bhagalpur. “If Vikrsmshila would have been attached in Buddha circuit, the fate of Bhagalpur would have changed like Bodh Gaya or Nalanda in terms of tourism. Similarly, the infamous Bhagalpur riot completely destroyed the century old silk industry here but after 1989 noting was done to revive it or even the politicians failed to help the weavers who still have been fighting for their survival here. Center on 2015 announced for a proposed central University at Bhagalpur in the name of Vikramshila but due to the lackadaisical attitude of the state government, nothing had happened. Bhagalpur was selected for the upgradation of smart city and center funded the amounts but after passing more than three years noting has been happened in smart city project. Bhagalpur has been laying just like an island since all the import bridges in its exist points either demanded or in dilapidated conditions for over last 15-16 years. The much talked Srijan scam has its very adverse impact here, funds for all the important development projects were embezzled with the active nexus of politicians and bureaucrats. As a result government stopped funding resulting the chaotic situation here. But not a single party has put such issues in its party’s poll manifestos,” alleged many.
“Do you know who is the sitting MP from here, do you had seen him earlier here during last five year. Narendra Modi has been claiming for all round developments but the NDA candidate who happens to be also the JDU’s sitting MLA from Nathnagar, hardly serious about his own constituency, so who could he do if he would win the poll here?” are some common questions among the voters.
“Since it’s my duty, so I came to the polling booth but I am not at all agree with the selection of candidates by the political parties to contest this seat. I just voted while considering the central government, not any candidate,” was the common perception on the lips of voters at Bhagalpur.