Houseflies, bachelorhood poll issues in Jatland

Houseflies, bachelorhood poll issues in Jatland

Issues of graft, caste or anti-incumbency may have gained prominence ahead of the Assembly elections in Jatland, but two uncanny issues—irrepressible houseflies in Panchkula district and chronic bachelorhood among Haryana youth—are becoming increasingly relevant politically.

In a segment of Barwala in the Panchkula constituency neighbouring Chandigarh, flies have been a menace for years owing to a large number of poultry farms. The local administration has failed to counter the infestation, deterring rural women in Barwala and Raipurrani from getting married into the segment.

“Hygiene is a major concern. Other businesses don’t flourish. Voters are seeking assurance from political parties with a solemn promise that the first thing they will do after being elected is to make the area fly-free,” Vipin Garg, a local resident told Deccan Herald.

The housefly issue has become a laughing matter for opposition politicians. A BJP star campaigner, cricket-turned-politician Navjot Sidhu, during one of his campaigns said: “Hooda hasn’t been able to kill one fly, so talk about development.”

Elsewhere in Haryana, older men and the youth are assuring votes only if political parties “promise them brides”. In a state blemished by a deplorable sex ratio, brides are difficult to find in several rural areas, village chief of the Bibipur Panchayat Sunil Jaglan told Deccan Herald.

In Jind constituency, a union of bachelors has been formed to highlight the grave plight of youth in Jatland. Over the years, there have been numerous reports of Haryana men paying heavy amounts to get a bride from far-flung places like Odisha.

“The genesis of the problem lies in the poor sex ratio in Haryana. Illegal abortions have been practiced here for decades in the craving of a son,” said Jaglan.

But Bibipur has led the way by preparing a pledge document of sorts, wherein political leaders from across party lines are being asked to sign while seeking votes.

 This document, Jaglan says, is like a contract in which the panchayat commits candidates to promise adequate sustainable measures to check female foeticide.

“The document, which many leaders have signed, says signatories can be taken to court for breach of contract,” the Bibipur village chief said.

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