The town of 5 PMs craves attention

The land of the Nehrus, which prides itself on giving five prime ministers to the country and also once boasted of having the ‘Oxford of the East’ (Allahabad University), now craves attention.

Popularly known as the ‘Sangam’ City ( due to the Confluence of Ganga, Yamuna and the mythical Saraswati rivers here), Allahabad today presents a picture of utter neglect and the residents feel that it has been ‘ignored’ by successive regimes.

“It is an irony that a town that has given five prime ministers to the country has been neglected. We have been discriminated against,” says Gopal Pandey, a lawyer and a resident of the town.

Speaking to DH, Pandey wondered if the stature of those leaders had proved to be an impediment to development of the region.

“It’s true that the leaders from here saw things in a national perspective. For them,  the entire country was their constituency and not just Allahabad,” he said.

Pandey said that today’s leaders have a narrow perspective.  “The focus of development are the state capital of Lucknow and Saifai (the native village of Samajwadi supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav). Even Prime Minister Narendra Modi talks more about Varanasi, his Lok Sabha constituency,” he said.

Concurring with Pandey, social activist K P Mishra said that barring former UP chief minister H N Bahuguna and senior BJP leader Murli Manohar Joshi, who was a Lok Sabha member from here, no one took any interest in developing the area.

“There are no industries here. Pollution levels are very high. There is no airport,” said V K Chaturvedi, a retired engineer.

The town almost entirely depends on the influx of a large number of pilgrims to the ‘Sangam’, especially during the Hindu month of ‘Maagh’. Thousands of people, including aged men and women, from across the country, spend a month at the ‘Sangam’ in tents to observe, what is known as, ‘Kalpvaas’.

The sea of humanity and the tent city can be seen clearly from the Ganga bridge.
Hectic campaigning was seen in Allahabad district, which goes to polls on Thursday in the fourth phase of polling in Uttar Pradesh.

For the Congress, which is in the fray in alliance with Samajwadi Party (SP), a good performance will go a long way in boosting the morale of the workers. The party had won one Assembly seat here last time. The BJP was wiped out while SP had scored big in the district.

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