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Thursday, 6 October 2011

Anna Hazare to bless Bundelkhand Congress

LUCKNOW: The battle for Budelkhand is all set to hot up with anti-corruption crusader Anna Hazare throwing his weight behind the Bundelkhand Congress, an outfit launched by actor-turned-political activist Raja Bundela. On Bundela's invitation, Anna is expected to address three public meetings in the region in December, apart from scanning and choosing suitable candidates for the two-month-old party.

With migration rate of 63% and 590 reported cases of suicides, Bundlekhand has witnessed a fierce turf war between the ruling Bahujan Samaj Party and the Congress over the past four years. Thing have peaked last month after Samajwadi Party also threw its hat in the ring with party's state chief Akhilesh Yadav touring the region extensively. Bundela's fledgling party hopes to highlight the graft, affecting various packages and projects including the MNREGS and make a dent in the divided and confused vote bank.

Three districts - Jhansi, Chitrakoot and Banda - have been shortlisted so far, Bundela told TOI. "However the final decision will be taken during the core team's visit next month," he said. Bundela had parted ways with the Congress party a year ago. Having spearheaded a campaign for separate Bundelkhand, he now adds separate Purvanchal, Vidarbha and Telengana to his wishlist.

The strategy would differ in each, he pointed out. Unlike the Budelkhand, where his outfit hopes to contest all 37 seats, in Purvanchal, it will confine itself to select constituencies to make a debut, he said. Though corruption would be the running theme in both the areas, in Purvanchal, health concern would top the agenda. "The focus would mainly be on Japanese encephalitis and the havoc it has caused over the past decades," he said. "JE menace affects at least 17 districts in the eastern belt and has claimed 10,000 lives over the past decade, but could never become a serious issue for any of the major political parties in UP .

Apart from paying lip sympathy to the cause and fooling the gullible masses by false promises during the poll time, none has bothered to demand or frame a blueprint to fight it off, he said.

"We have decided to go region-specific and to micro levels," he said. "We don't have muscle or money power but we do have sincerity of purpose which counts after Anna's advent on the scene," he added.


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