Kaiserganj Ground Report: Facing Floods Since Pre-Independence Era, Godahiya Villagers Hope For Change This Election

The two seats in Gonda district – Kaiserganj Lok Sabha constituency (parts of Gonda and Bahraich districts) and Gonda Lok Sabha Constituency – will go to polls in the fifth phase of General Elections 2024 on May 20. In Godahiya, one of the flood infested villages under Kaiserganj Lok Sabha constituency in Uttar Pradesh, things haven’t changed much since August 15, 1947, when India gained its independence. People who hail from Godahiya said the village hasn’t changed a bit, it is still the same as before.

People here have said that despite several protests and representations, there seems to be no end to the issue of floods, which have become a perennial problem for Godahiya. However, with the election season on, the residents of Godahiya are hopeful that their long pending issue of floods might get addressed by the political parties out on a wooing spree.

“Our vote will go to the party which will address our issue. We are hopeful that the political parties will lend an ear to our problem and will resolve if voted to power,” said Bhajan Lal, a local.

Godahiya is perhaps not the only village that is affected with floods. Of the 16 development blocks in Gonda, 7 blocks are flood affected, suggest records with the district administration. The records further suggest that there are more than 90 villages, spanning more than 13,438 hectares, that get affected almost every year due to floods.

Though the locals here claimed that the UP government, of late, has intensified the rescue operations and flood relief work, they said there is no end to the problem which has existed since the British era.

In Godahiya, one of the flood infested villages under Kaiserganj Lok Sabha constituency in Uttar Pradesh, things haven’t changed much since August 15, 1947, when India gained its independence. (File Image)

“Floods are an annual affair for us. Every year we have to migrate to safer places or the flood relief camps, risking our lives and livestock, but no previous government has addressed the issue,” another villager said.

People, however, said that since the Kaiserganj Lok Sabha Constituency, in which their village falls, is going to polls on May 20, they are hopeful of their plea getting heard by the politicians on the wooing spree. However, they said so far, none of the politicians have visited their village but they are hopeful that in this season of poll promises and claims, they might get relief from the perennial problem of floods that has added to their woes.

Gonda comprises seven state assembly constituencies including Mehnaun, Gonda, Katrabazar, Colonelganj, Tarabganj, Mankapur, and Gaura, with 2,532,566 electors (1,182,382 females, 1,350,089 males, and 95 others as of March 16, 2024).

Kaiserganj Lok Sabha Seat

The Kaiserganj constituency, adjacent to Ayodhya in eastern Uttar Pradesh, has seen alternating periods of political dominance, with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) currently holding momentum after consecutive victories in the 2014 and 2019 Lok Sabha elections. However, the BJP now faces a challenge due to sexual harassment allegations against incumbent MP Brij Bhusan Sharan Singh. The party has nominated his son, Karan Bhusan Singh, to contest his debut election from here.

Brij Bhusan Sharan Singh, a strongman Thakur leader, has wielded considerable influence in Kaiserganj, securing victories six times, five times as a BJP candidate and once on a Samajwadi Party (SP) ticket. His extensive influence spans across east UP, though his current legal troubles, stemming from allegations by six female wrestlers, have clouded his political future.

People discussing politics over a cup of tea at a roadside tea shop under Kaiserganj Lok Sabha Constituency in Gonda. (Image: News18)

The SP has fielded Ram Bhagat Mishra as its candidate. Mishra, a former Congress member who later joined the BJP and subsequently the SP, is expected to present a formidable challenge to the BJP’s new nominee. The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) has chosen Narendra Pandey, a Brahmin, as its candidate, reflecting its strategic focus on the constituency’s significant Brahmin demographic.

Kaiserganj’s electorate is predominantly Brahmin, constituting about 30% of the population, followed by Thakurs at 20%, Kurmis (OBC) at 10%, Dalits at 10%, and Muslims at 15%. In the 2019 election, Brij Bhushan secured a substantial victory over the BSP’s Chandradev Ram Yadav by over 2.61 lakh votes.

This electoral battle in Kaiserganj is poised to be intense, with Karan Bhusan Singh leveraging his father’s legacy, Ram Bhagat Mishra bringing his cross-party experience, and Narendra Pandey aiming to consolidate the Brahmin vote. The outcome will significantly impact the region’s political landscape, especially in the wake of the controversies surrounding Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh.

Gonda Lok Sabha Seat

Gonda Lok Sabha Constituency is the second Parliamentary seat of Gonda, which is made up of 5 assembly constituency segments. These assemblies are in Gonda (4) and Balrampur (1) districts. In Lok Sabha elections 2019, Kirti Vardhan Singh Alias Raja Bhaiya of BJP won with 5,07,276 votes. The runner up was Vinod Kumar Alias Pandit Singh of SP party. The margin of the victory was: 1,66,097 votes. In the 2019 General Elections, Gonda witnessed a fiercely contested battle. This constituency witnessed a 52.08% voter turnout in the year 2019.

Explore in-depth coverage of Lok Sabha Election 2024 Schedule, Voter Turnout, Upcoming Phase And Much More At News18 Website

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