'Armed' with power, this 'commando' is here for people

Dalit MP feels that he got a ticket because the Gandhis trusted him

 That he protected Rajiv when he was the PM brought him close to 10, Janpath. “I joined the National Security Guards in 1987. It was not that I was interested in politics. As I was with Rajiv Gandhi, I got close to his family and in 1999, I sought a Congress ticket for my wife who is a social worker. But Soniaji asked me why I didn’t contest”.

 The “Commando”, who is in his early 50s, then decided to jump into the world of electoral politics. “I discussed that with my family and friends and decided to take the plunge. I contested in 1999 from the reserved Basagaon seat (bordering Gorakhpur) but lost by a narrow margin. I was not disheartened”.

 “In 2004, I was told to support Mahavir Prasad which I did. He was given a ticket again in 2009 as he was a minister this time and I was asked to shift to Bahraich. It was a new constituency for me. In 2004, the Congress candidate had secured a mere 12,000 votes and lost deposit. I took up the challenge”. Hard work paid off as Kishore won by a margin of  40,000 votes. He secured 1.8 lakh votes, defeating the sitting Bahujan Samaj Party MP.

 According to the dalit MP, he got the ticket because the Gandhis trusted him. But he does not want to go into the  details. “I was close to Rajiv. Whether I was in service or not, I remained in touch with Rajiv. My association with the Gandhis started when I was an employee of Rashtrapati Bhavan where I had met Indira Gandhi a couple of times”. “After I first met Indira Gandhi, I kept meeting the family members. Until Sonia Gandhi told me, I never thought of contesting myself. I don’t speak much about Sonia or Rahul Gandhi. They know me and my work and gave me ticket,” he said.

Great honour

That he was not made a minister disappoints him? “No, becoming MP itself is a great honour. I have not visited the Gandhis after my victory lest I may be  mistaken for angling for minister’s post. ”

Now that he is the MP, his plans for his people? “Ours being a backward area, we need good schools and colleges. We also need a railway line between Bahraich and Gonda. We need an engineering and a medical college”, says the MP whose impoverished region shares almost 110 km-long border with Nepal.

 The “Commando” has a big list of ‘enemies’ to fight against : the poverty-stricken area has a huge water shortage problem ;  devastating fire incidents and flood havoc leave thousands homeless every year. Despite tall claims by politicians, development still eludes the constituency.

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