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|September 1, 1999
India Speaks/ Madhavji Lokhande
'We need a strong government to protect our boundaries'
Elections don't meant much to us poor illiterate people. However, what I do expect from the general election is a stable government. The intrusion in Kargil has proved beyond a shade of doubt that a shaky government is an invitation to our neighbour to flex its muscles.
We need a strong government to protect our boundaries. Though I don't think the Vajpayee government was to be blamed in any way for the intrusion in Kargil, I believe that Pakistan took advantage of the political uncertainty prevailing in the country.
As far as my village, Kojbi, is concerned, I don't have many complaints. There is enough water to irrigate my 5 acres of paddy fields. The Shiv Sena-Bharatiya Janata Party government has made this area tanker free and built several toilet blocks
What Kojbi lacks is good roads. Though almost all towns in Chandrapur district are connected by motorable roads, the 5 km-long approach to my village is a kaccha road. In the monsoon, Kojbi becomes completely inaccessible.
Another problem my village faces is that of poor bus services. There are only two daily services to my village -- one in the morning and one in the evening. This makes it extremely difficult for us to visit nearby towns and the Agricultural Produce Marketing Committee office where I sell my crops and buy seeds and fertilisers.
Many MLAs have come and gone. They all made promises. But none delivered. This election I hope this will change.
Madhavji Lokhande, a farmer in Kojbi village in Chandrapur district, spoke to Pankaj Upadhyay.
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