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Uma wants to be Bundelkhand's darling daughter

Sunil Gatade in Bada Malhera | November 28, 2003 09:51 IST
Last Updated: November 28, 2003 09:56 IST

She is leaving no stone unturned to project herself as the ladli beti (darling daughter) of Bundelkhand.

And Uma Bharti is also exploiting the discomfiture of Congress on crucial issues like power and road.

Mellowed down ever since the battle for power began, the fiery sanyasin now proclaims that she faces no contest in the multi-cornered fight and says her only opponent is Chief Minister Digvijay Singh.

Virtually promising the moon in this underdeveloped area, Bharti, who is being projected by the BJP as Bundelkhand ki virangana (female warrior of Bundelkhand), tells the electorate to protect their honour by ensuring a resounding victory for her.

She wants to turn Bada Malhera more prosperous than Raghogarh, the pocketborough of Digvijay Singh.

But local congress leaders insist that the way through Bada Malhera is not exactly rosy for the BJP's star campaigner. They claim she stands exposed in the eyes of the people, as her brother Swami Lodh, who is currently the MLA from here, has not worked for the area.

Jagdish Shukla of the Congress and Kapurchand Jain Ghuvvara of the Communist Party of India are her main rivals in the ten-cornered contest.

Bharti will reap, what she has sown, Shukla's campaign in charge Ashok Kathal said pointing out that Swami Lodh was brought by her as candidate last time but neither he worked nor Uma came to the area in the last five years.

Local BJP leader Bhagchandra Jain and Dinesh Sharma, chief of BJP Yuva Morcha in UP, however, brush aside the charge.

Political observers say that projection of Bharti as its chief ministerial candidate and fielding her from this area is expected to help BJP in Bundelkhand having 25 assembly seats.

Bundelkhand is one of the most backward regions of Madhya Pradesh. Ignorance, illiteracy and poverty are bane of this region.

Bada Malhera is known for its vicious exploitation of the poor by moneylenders and landlords and had been a breeding ground in the past for a number of dacoits.

Pawan Ghuvvara, son and campaign manager of the CPI nominee, is obviously unhappy over the Congress failure to withdraw in favour of his father who had emerged as a close runner up in the 1998 elections.

Achheram Agarwal, local Congress leader, however, dismisses CPI's grouse saying the Left party had become inconsequential. "If a donkey grazes in your field, it neither earns you divine blessings, nor is it a sin," he said.

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