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Kaiserganj Ground Report: Facing Floods Since Pre-Independence Era, Godahiya Villagers Hope For Change This Election

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The two seats in Gonda district – Kaiserganj Lok Sabha constituency (parts of Gonda and Bahraich districts) and Gonda Lok Sabha Constituency – will go to polls in the fifth phase of General Elections 2024 on May 20. In Godahiya, one of the flood infested villages under Kaiserganj Lok Sabha constituency in Uttar Pradesh, things haven’t changed much since August 15, 1947, when India gained its independence. People who hail from Godahiya said the village hasn’t changed a bit, it is still the same as before.

People here have said that despite several protests and representations, there seems to be no end to the issue of floods, which have become a perennial problem for Godahiya. However, with the election season on, the residents of Godahiya are hopeful that their long pending issue of floods might get addressed by the political parties out on a wooing spree.

“Our vote will go to the party which will address our issue. We are hopeful that the political parties will lend an ear to our problem and will resolve if voted to power,” said Bhajan Lal, a local.

Godahiya is perhaps not the only village that is affected with floods. Of the 16 development blocks in Gonda, 7 blocks are flood affected, suggest records with the district administration. The records further suggest that there are more than 90 villages, spanning more than 13,438 hectares, that get affected almost every year due to floods.

Though the locals here claimed that the UP government, of late, has intensified the rescue operations and flood relief work, they said there is no end to the problem which has existed since the British era.

In Godahiya, one of the flood infested villages under Kaiserganj Lok Sabha constituency in Uttar Pradesh, things haven’t changed much since August 15, 1947, when India gained its independence. (File Image)

“Floods are an annual affair for us. Every year we have to migrate to safer places or the flood relief camps, risking our lives and livestock, but no previous government has addressed the issue,” another villager said.

People, however, said that since the Kaiserganj Lok Sabha Constituency, in which their village falls, is going to polls on May 20, they are hopeful of their plea getting heard by the politicians on the wooing spree. However, they said so far, none of the politicians have visited their village but they are hopeful that in this season of poll promises and claims, they might get relief from the perennial problem of floods that has added to their woes.

Gonda comprises seven state assembly constituencies including Mehnaun, Gonda, Katrabazar, Colonelganj, Tarabganj, Mankapur, and Gaura, with 2,532,566 electors (1,182,382 females, 1,350,089 males, and 95 others as of March 16, 2024).

Kaiserganj Lok Sabha Seat

The Kaiserganj constituency, adjacent to Ayodhya in eastern Uttar Pradesh, has seen alternating periods of political dominance, with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) currently holding momentum after consecutive victories in the 2014 and 2019 Lok Sabha elections. However, the BJP now faces a challenge due to sexual harassment allegations against incumbent MP Brij Bhusan Sharan Singh. The party has nominated his son, Karan Bhusan Singh, to contest his debut election from here.

Brij Bhusan Sharan Singh, a strongman Thakur leader, has wielded considerable influence in Kaiserganj, securing victories six times, five times as a BJP candidate and once on a Samajwadi Party (SP) ticket. His extensive influence spans across east UP, though his current legal troubles, stemming from allegations by six female wrestlers, have clouded his political future.

People discussing politics over a cup of tea at a roadside tea shop under Kaiserganj Lok Sabha Constituency in Gonda. (Image: News18)

The SP has fielded Ram Bhagat Mishra as its candidate. Mishra, a former Congress member who later joined the BJP and subsequently the SP, is expected to present a formidable challenge to the BJP’s new nominee. The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) has chosen Narendra Pandey, a Brahmin, as its candidate, reflecting its strategic focus on the constituency’s significant Brahmin demographic.

Kaiserganj’s electorate is predominantly Brahmin, constituting about 30% of the population, followed by Thakurs at 20%, Kurmis (OBC) at 10%, Dalits at 10%, and Muslims at 15%. In the 2019 election, Brij Bhushan secured a substantial victory over the BSP’s Chandradev Ram Yadav by over 2.61 lakh votes.

This electoral battle in Kaiserganj is poised to be intense, with Karan Bhusan Singh leveraging his father’s legacy, Ram Bhagat Mishra bringing his cross-party experience, and Narendra Pandey aiming to consolidate the Brahmin vote. The outcome will significantly impact the region’s political landscape, especially in the wake of the controversies surrounding Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh.

Gonda Lok Sabha Seat

Gonda Lok Sabha Constituency is the second Parliamentary seat of Gonda, which is made up of 5 assembly constituency segments. These assemblies are in Gonda (4) and Balrampur (1) districts. In Lok Sabha elections 2019, Kirti Vardhan Singh Alias Raja Bhaiya of BJP won with 5,07,276 votes. The runner up was Vinod Kumar Alias Pandit Singh of SP party. The margin of the victory was: 1,66,097 votes. In the 2019 General Elections, Gonda witnessed a fiercely contested battle. This constituency witnessed a 52.08% voter turnout in the year 2019.

Explore in-depth coverage of Lok Sabha Election 2024 Schedule, Voter Turnout, Upcoming Phase And Much More At News18 Website



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Pune Police Seizes Escape Car Kia Of Accused's Father | Pune Porsche Crash | English News | News18

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‘He Could Have Called Me’: Naveen Patnaik Responds after PM Modi Promises Probe into ‘Conspiracy behind CM’s Failing Health’

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Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik and Prime Minister Narendra Modi. (File pic/PTI)

The Odisha chief minister slammed the BJP for ‘spreading rumours’ about his health during the ongoing elections. Prime Minister Narendra Modi earlier said that if the BJP comes to power in the state, where assembly elections are being held concurrently with the Lok Sabha polls, it would form a special committee to investigate this issue and reveal the truth

Ahead of the last phase of polling in Odisha on June 1, the battle lines were clearly drawn between former allies Biju Janata Dal and the Bharatiya Janata Party with none other than the Prime Minister targeting the Odisha chief minister’s close aide and former bureaucrat VK Pandian, which forced Naveen Patnaik to break his silence on Narendra Modi.

“I understand that the Prime Minister at a public meeting in our state today has stated that I am in bad health and he wants to institute an enquiry to enquire into this matter,” the Odisha CM told reporters. “If he was so concerned about my health and he has stated publicly before that I am a good friend of his, all he had to do was pick up a telephone, ring me up, and ask me about my health.”

Incidentally, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had indeed called Patnaik his “good friend” in February, ahead of alliance talks between the two parties.

The soft-spoken Odisha chief minister slammed the BJP for “spreading rumours” about his health. “I understand that there are a number of people of the Bharatiya Janata Party from Odisha and Delhi who have been spreading this rumour about my health for the last ten years. Let me assure the Prime Minister that I am in perfect health and I have been campaigning in our state for the last month. Instead of concerning himself about such rumours, he should concentrate on the revision of coal royalty for our state and also our demand for special category status which we have been making for years. This will benefit the people of Odisha with all that funding,” he said.

The opposition BJP, which fancies its chances in Odisha, has made “Odia asmita” an election issue and consistently targeted the Tamilian VK Pandian for the latter’s proximity to the chief minister, alleging that Patnaik is a “mere puppet” in his aide’s hands. And, despite a list of 40 star campaigners, it is Pandian who has led the BJD’s electioneering. Whether it is public meetings, roadshows, or big-ticket interviews, Pandian is everywhere. The BJP is trying to hammer the point that “Pandian, a non-Odia, is usurping power”.

Answering questions from reporters, Patnaik said that his health was alright, or else he would not have campaigned in this heat. “If he is to form a committee, I suggest he form a committee to look into the people who are spreading such false rumours about my health,” he said. “Think about it, this is election time and this has been said to get votes, what else?”

A video of Pandian removing Patnaik’s shaking hand from the public eye during a meeting triggered speculation from the BJP.

“All well-wishers of Naveen Babu are deeply worried. They are concerned seeing the sharp deterioration in Naveen Babu’s health in the past year. Those who have been close to Naveen Babu for years discuss his health when they meet me,” Prime Minister Modi said at a rally. “They say that Naveen Babu is no longer able to do anything on his own. Those who have been close to Naveen Babu for ages believe that there could be some conspiracy behind his deteriorating health.”

The PM, who has been campaigning vigorously in Odisha along with the BJP’s top brass, said the people of the state have the right to know the truth. “Is the same lobby not behind this, the same one who in the name of Naveen Babu and behind the screen is enjoying the perks of power in Odisha? The veil must be lifted from this mystery. There must be an investigation into this. After June 10, when the BJP would have registered a victory, its government in Odisha will form a special committee and will investigate the reasons why Naveen Babu’s health is suddenly continuing to deteriorate.”

In the no-holds-barred fight between the BJD and BJP, the latter has cleverly strategised not to target Naveen Patnaik so much, as he is old and still popular, but his close and trusted aide VK Pandian.

Explore in-depth coverage of Lok Sabha Election 2024 Voter Turnout, Upcoming Phase, Results Date, Exit Poll And Much More At News18 Website



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No Bar In Electoral Law On PM Planning Meditation Trip Ahead Of Last Phase of LS Polls: Sources

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PM Modi will meditate at the Vivekananda Rock Memorial starting on Thursday evening. (Image: News18)

The Congress on Wednesday alleged that Prime Minister Modi was trying to “circumvent” the silence period restrictions with his 48-hour meditation trip in violation of the Model Code of Conduct

There is no bar under electoral law on the prime minister to undertake a meditation trip during elections, sources in the know said on Wednesday, amid the Congress’s opposition to Narendra Modi’s proposed visit to Kanyakumari’s ‘Dhyan Mandapam’ from May 30.

The Congress on Wednesday alleged that Prime Minister Modi was trying to “circumvent” the silence period restrictions with his 48-hour meditation trip in violation of the Model Code of Conduct. It urged the Election Commission to ensure that the his meditation exercise is not aired by the media.

The sources in the know cited Section 126 of the Representation of People Act, 1951 which deals with prohibition of public meetings or propagating and displaying election matter to the public, during the operation of silence period.

Silence period begins 48 hours ahead of the conclusion of poll. Silence period for the last phase, in which Modi’s constituency of Varanasi also goes for poll, begins at 6 PM on Thursday.

However, the provisions of the election law are not applicable in case of multi-phased elections — when the polls are held on different dates — if the content of election matter relates to subsequent phases and in no way, have any reference to the polling area under silence period, they said, citing a press note issued by EC last month.

So long as one does not talk about the locality where election is happening there is no bar, the sources underlined.

If there are no spoken words as reported, there seems to be no violation, they added. Similar permission was given by the Commission to the PM during 2019 Lok Sabha polls when election was scheduled in Varanasi during last phase on May 19.

Explore in-depth coverage of Lok Sabha Election 2024 Voter Turnout, Upcoming Phase, Results Date, Exit Poll And Much More At News18 Website

(This story has not been edited by News18 staff and is published from a syndicated news agency feed – PTI)



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