Furious over consistent inaction over a slew of issues by Union Minister Mahesh Sharma, the residents of Kachheda Warsabad in Uttar Pradesh's Gautambudhh Nagar district have put up a board at the entrance of the village stating, "BJP members not welcome". Sharma, who represents Gautam Budhh Nagar constituency in the Lok Sabha had adopted the village under the Saansad Adarsh Gram Yojana in 2017 promising an improved quality of life for its residents.
The anguish of the villagers, which is rooted in their long standing fight with Wave Infratech owned by the Ponty Chadha group, over land acquisition and compensation, may cost dearly to Sharma in upcoming elections on April 11. The residents complained that the village has only witnessed apathy after it was adopted under the much publicised Sansad Adarsh Gram Yojana scheme. Manish Nagar, a resident of the village, said that Sharma’s indifference to their problems despite repeated requests has left them disillusioned.
He said,"The builders acquired some 1,500 bigha of land in 2011 for which they promised a fair compensation and other community development projects. In October 2018, the company destroyed standing crops of paddy which was to be harvested in only 10 days. When enraged villagers protested peacefully, local police not only brutally lathi charged the protesters but locked 86 farmers for 14 days too. We expected our MP would help us in this situation but he even did not bother to ask about our well being.” He added, "Most of the residents in the village are farmers. We had saved some land for future but the builder is erecting walls in such a manner that we cannot access our lands."
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A similar complaint was flagged by former village pradhan, Sushil Nagar, who alleged that the builders enjoy this impunity only with the tacit support of Mahesh Sharma. Nagar, asserting his Gujjar identity, said, "How can they deprive us from the land that the company has not even bought." Commenting on the boycott of the saffron party, "The villagers have unanimously decided that no BJP person will be allowed to campaign in the village. Instead, we have initiated a campaign in which youth of the village will visit other villages to apprise them about our misery. There are 3.5 lakh Gujjar voters in the constituency and we are appealing them to vote against BJP."
On being asked about the implementation of the Swacch Bharat Mission, Nagar said that only 20 toilets were built in 2013-14. He added that contrary to the claims by BJP in the region, several people are still compelled to defecate in open. In a grudging tone, he said the village has not even seen any announcement about a secondary school or college which relies on a primary government school.
Despite repeated attempts, Mahesh Sharma could not be reached for his response.
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