Lok Sabha Elections-2019

Barabanki: It’s ‘Gatbandhan’ maestro Vs son of Mulayam, Maya’s devoted aide

Until a early 2000s, Panna Lal Punia was “Punia Bhaisaheb” to a Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) president, Mayawati, and before that, “Punia Saheb” to a Samajwadi Party (SP) patriarch, Mulayam Singh Yadav. A Dalit from Haryana, in Uttar Pradesh’s officialdom, Punia became a absolute proxy around a time when Dalit officials rose to turn a third standing post holding aloft a state’s administration with a Brahmins and Kayasthas. He was a principal secretary to both Yadav and Mayawati when they were arch ministers. More volatile than many of his colleagues, Punia dumped Yadav after a BSP pulled out of a bloc supervision they had put together in 1993, and teamed adult with a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). His organisation with Mayawati lasted by a 3 terms she was a arch apportion with a BJP’s support in 1995, 1997 and 2002. In 2003, he incited an approver opposite Mayawati when she was out of energy and caught in a Rs 175 crore Taj Heritage Corridor scam, his assign being that she shifted a blame to him. Their attribute soured for good.

In 2007, Punia quiescent from a polite services and assimilated a Congress that found him, a useful arms to take on Mayawati. However, he mislaid a open choosing that year that a BSP swept. When a Congress fielded Punia in 2009 from a Barabanki Lok Sabha seat, Mayawati realised that by then, he was no pushover. He had a sincere support of Beni Prasad Verma, an SP maestro who quit a celebration to criticism Amar Singh’s flourishing change over Yadav. The standing multiple of Dalits and back standing Kurmis that they potentially captivated done for a winning package. Mayawati despatched one of her tip ministers, Naseemuddin Siddiqui (now in a Congress) to work opposite Punia though it didn’t assistance since he won.

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Ten years and a better in 2014 later, Punia’s son, Tanuj, 32, is contesting from Barabanki, that’s 28 km from Lucknow, opposite a SP-BSP veteran, Ram Sagar Rawat and a BJP’s Upendra Singh. The quarrel acquired heated overtones not since of Mayawati and Punia’s choppy past though since Punia is believed to be one of a few Congress leaders from UP who has a celebration boss Rahul Gandhi’s ears and suggested him opposite being partial of a SP-BSP alliance. “If a Congress has to arise again in UP, we contingency go alone,” he reportedly emphasised, even if a Congress did a array of flip-flops vis-a-vis a “gathbandhan” thereafter. Punia’s purpose in a Congress’s fantastic win in a final Chhattisgarh open elections, that he oversaw as a ubiquitous secretary, embedded him in Rahul’s group of confidants.

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In this indifferent chair that votes on May 6, a back castes and Muslims dynamic a outcome of an election. But Tanuj’s sales representation is all about fostering his father’s “vision”. “Whatever plain work Barabanki saw is interjection to Punia,” claimed KK Shastri, a Youth Congress personality from Delhi, who is coordinating Tanuj’s election. “The town’s initial over-bridge, a dam to strap a Ghagra river’s water, farming electrification, a mishap centre, Punia altered Barabanki’s face,” pronounced Shastri, emphasising that Tanuj’s educational certification as a automatic operative from IIT-Roorkee, a amicable media junkie, an “ace” domestic communicator and a motivator of a party’s workers would comparison his interest over Dalits.

Of course, Shastri pointedly mentioned that in his reign as an MP, Punia had combined some 50 parks, named after Ambedkar, for that he was hailed as a “only genuine” personality of a Gautams (Jatavs) as opposite a “gathbandhan” and BJP contenders who were from a Rawat sub-caste that is in a infancy during Barabanki. The reference to a Punias being Gautams was poignant since one of Mayawati’s claim was her former PS was a “Dhanuk” and not a Jatav.

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At a SP office, Punia youth was discharged in a few lines by Rajan Shukla, a inhabitant secretary. “He’s famous as a son of an IAS officer who was tighten to Mayawati and not as a ‘neta’ (leader). Our debate is focussed on all that went wrong underneath a (Narendra) Modi and Yogi Adityanath governments. Joblessness, miss of irrigation and costly urea, all have strike a farmers. Peppermint is grown extensively in a area. The tiny traders have been strike by GST. Our potato and wheat furnish has not been picked adult by a government, forcing a producers to sell them to a private buyers for reduce than a prescribed price,” pronounced Shukla.

On tip of it all, farmers were forced to buy iron barricades, that were offered for Rs 30 a kilo though were now labelled during Rs 72 after a fields were scorched by a “lawaris pashu” (cattle left astray), interjection to a state government’s sweeping anathema on a sale and massacre of all cow species. “The barricades are a commodity many in demand,” pronounced Ram Jeerath, a rancher of Sultanpur village.

Aware that a erring “pashu” was a subject in a Opposition’s campaign, a BJP shifted a concentration of a discourse, mid-way, from confidence and terrorism, to responding a “gatbandhan’s” charges. Mahendra Gupta, a Barabanki district president, said, “We are revelation farmers to take a some-more soft opinion towards ‘gau mata’ (mother cow). It is not Modiji or Yogiji who asked them to let lax a sterile animals. They did it willingly. It’s like throwing an aged primogenitor out of one’s home. There are problems. Our supervision is appropriation land from internal metropolitan companies to make cow shelters. We are training volunteers to locate wandering cattle but spiteful them since a cops who were doing this progressing mostly bleeding a animals. That harm people’s sentiments. All good things take time to do.”

Twitter: @RadRama

Article source: https://www.business-standard.com/article/elections/barabanki-it-s-gatbandhan-veteran-vs-son-of-mulayam-maya-s-trusted-aide-119050400127_1.html


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