« Back to articlePrint this article

'The poor know Modi has India on his mind'

March 11, 2017 12:59 IST

What does someone from Uttar Pradesh on the streets of Mumbai think of the results back home?
Savera R Someshwar/ listens in.

Kamaljit Yadav

Kamaljit Yadav has been driving a black-and-yellow taxi in Mumbai for over 30 years. He returns home to Azamgarh district in Uttar Pradesh at least twice a year.

Today, when a sleepy Mumbai wakes up to the Bharatiya Janata Party's sweep of UP, Yadav is for once pleased that business is slow.

His ears are tuned in to the news flowing in from his home state and he is very pleased that Narendra Modi's party has posted such a spectacular result.

"After so many decades, we are seeing this kind of a result in UP, that one party is winning with over 300 seats. People have faith in Modi because of the work he has done for the last three years. He wants to change this country for the better and it shows," te taxi driver says.

"The rich are not happy with Modi, especially after the notebandi (demonetisation). But the poor people, who have actually suffered, who have stood in the lines to withdraw money, know that Modi only has the good of this country in his mind," Yadav adds.

"He has truly taken the cleanliness drive ahead in every aspect."

"Corruption has become difficult. Everyone is being forced to do their work. Why, even the babus have to come on time to office," Yadav points out.

"And India has definitely become cleaner after Modi's safai abhiyaan. Take a look at Mumbai itself and you'll know what I mean."

"This is Modi's victory. And he has worked hard for it. Modi's contribution to changing India for the better will be recorded by history in shining letters," the cabbie declares.

He proceeds to analyse the defeat of his fellow Yadavs. "The fight between the father and the son did not work in their favour. Akhilesh, who has actually done a lot of good work in UP, did not want his father's coterie, especially Amar Singh. And his father did not want his. That fight became public and it was not good for both of them."

Looking at another former chief minister, he says, "Mayawati too did some good work. She cleaned quite a bit of the goodagardi that plagued UP. You must have heard about that notorious criminal called Raja Bhaiyya. She even got rid of him."

"But when she spent crores of rupees to build all those statues in Lucknow, the people went against her. What was the need for all those elephants?"

"She should have spent all the money on doing something that would help the people; then people would have remembered her when the time to vote came and been grateful to her."

"Though one should not actually say this, she gave too much importance to the nichli jaat (lower castes) and to the Muslims. And she tried to please too many people. All this went against her."

The Congress is dismissed with a sad shake of the head. "Congress ka aisa tha, woh khate toh the lekin khane bhi dete the. Lekin ab unka zamana gaya (Well, the Congress used to take money, but it allowed other people to make money as well. Now, their days of glory are long gone)."

When asked about the next chief minister of the state, he says "Pata chal jayega kuch dino mein (We will know in a few days). There's Rajnath Singh, but he has an even more important post as Union home minister. There is Amit Shah, but he too has an important post."

"You can be sure about one thing. The next chief minister will be someone who will work for the good of the state. Modi won't accept anything else."

Photograph: Savera R Someshwar/

Savera R Someshwar in Mumbai