After gold hunt, Unnao now looks for a good representative

Last Updated 24 April 2014, 20:18 IST

 Not very long back, Unnao, a relatively backward district, between Lucknow and Kanpur, had shot into international limelight after the dream of a local seer prompted a futile gold hunt beneath an ancient fort at Daundiyakheda village in the district.

The digging, undertaken by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), had to be called off after three weeks when experts opined that there was no possibility of gold making the powerful and influential seer Shobhan Sarkar as well as the government a laughing stock. The futile gold hunt episode still haunts many here.

While many in this Lok Sabha constituency would be looking to elect someone who could develop the area, many others wanted a representative who could ensure another digging at the spot as they believe there was tonnes of gold beneath the ruined fort of Raja Ram Bux Singh.

Despite being nestled between two big cities in UP, Unnao continues to suffer from lack of basic facilities. Local residents say that the flyover on the national highway connecting Kanpur is under construction for the past several years.

In many areas in the constituency, the water contains high percentage of fluoride.
A large number of people have fallen prey to diseases after consuming water in these areas.

“None of our representatives have made any sincere efforts to resolve the problems affecting the people here,” says Shalini Yadav, who is a resident of the constituency, but studies at Lucknow as there is no facility for higher education here.

She told Deccan Herald that the those wanting to pursue higher studies have to either go to Kanpur or Lucknow. Though there are a number of private engineering colleges along the national highway that passes through Unnao, barely a few of them have trained faculties.

Many have also closed shop owing to the paucity of students.

Though the constituency is a hub for leather products and boasts of some nationally recognised brands, shortage of power has been a big problem for the industries here.
“The power supply is there hardly for 10-12 hours,” says Sourabh Dixit of Nawabganj, an assembly segment in the constituency.

Although the ‘Modi Wave’ seems to have made some impact in the urban areas in the constituency, in the villages, it is still the caste factor that matters most. Brahmins form a large percentage of the electorate and in an apparent attempt to woo about four lakh voters, both the BSP and Samajwadi Party (SP) have fielded brahmin candidates. BSP nominee Brijesh Pathak is a sitting Rajya Sabha member. Both Pathak and SP nominee Arun Shankar Shukla have criminal antecedents.

The BJP has given ticket to Sachhidanand Sakshi Maharaj, who is banking on the ‘lodh’ votes, which are also about four lakh here. Sakshi Maharaj is a close aide of former UP chief minister Kalyan Singh. Congress has re-nominated its sitting MP Anu Tandon.

(Published 24 April 2014, 20:18 IST)

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