It was in Bundelkhand that Gandhi had kicked off his 'oust-Mayawati' political project, accusing the state government of doing precious little to uplift the living conditions of the people of the region. It was in keeping with his initiative that the Manmohan Singh government had in 2009 announced a package of 7,266 crore for both parts of Bundelkhand - six districts in Madhya Pradesh and seven in Uttar Pradesh.
The Union Cabinet had recently come up with the proposal to set up a central university in the region, with its headquarters in Jhansi, but it could not pass muster as the model code of conduct had already come into force in UP by then.
Chief Minister Mayawati sought to counter accusations of neglecting the region by having a resolution passed in the state assembly, recommending the division of UP into five parts, with Bundelkhand being one of the proposed states. Her opponents cried foul, charging her with indulging in political gimmickry.
The candidature of Bharati, a backward Lodh known for her oratorial skills, is expected to give a fillip to BJP's chances in the region. That Bundelkhand has turned into one of the most of most-interesting battlegrounds was evident from the importance attached by the four main contenders - BSP, SP, Congress and BJP - to shore up their prospects in the region.
BJP's decision to induct NRHM scam-tainted former BSP minister Babu Singh Kushwaha, an MBC, even though the move was subsequently put on hold, was also seen as a step in this direction. Babu Singh Kushwaha hails from the Banda district. Lodhs, who comprise about 2.3% of the electorate in the state, and Kushwahas/Mauryas/Shakyas/Sainis, add up to around 4.1% of voter-base and are present in sizeable numbers in the region.
BJP and Congress have scaled up their efforts to woo the Most Backward Classes. Of the seven districts comprising Bundelkhand region, Jhansi, Lalitpur and Jalaun, go on to form the Jhansi range, while Banda, Chitrakoot, Mahoba and Hamipur are part of the Chitrakoot range.
There are as many as 19 assembly segments in the region and BSP had bagged 12 of them in the 2007. SP could win only four, while Congress was marginally behind with three. BJP suffered a washout.
In the general election held two years later, SP cornered Banda and Jalaun Lok Sabha constituencies, BSP won Hamirpur and Congress Jhansi. Political observers tracking the campaign-trail of various parties in the region are wary of predicting the final outcome, as all four contenders have launched an all-out effort to win over the region.
In his election rallies at Lalitpur and Jhansi on Tuesday, Gandhi blasted the Mayawati government for its failure to ultilise funds that had flown in as part of the Bundelkhand package, and the large-scale irregularities detected in their utilisation.
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3 Comments on this Story
piyush3333 days ago
uma bharti prooved her ability as a cm in M.P
Indianblood3334 days ago
Maya and Uma are just waisting their time. This two ladies are politically died and responsible for crimes hapening in UP & MP. Both are not able to prononce the name of the state correctly. It is our bad fate if any of them are coming to power.
Naveen 3334 days ago
Another contender for CMs seat..