Political discussions have now become part and parcel for city boroughs, who love to dive into the swirl of Lok Sabha elections. The poll resonance of argumentative Kanpuriites has reached its crescendo. Facing numerous day to day problems, Kanpur these days is caught in playing jigsaw puzzle of choosing the right candidate to represent them in Lok Sabha.

Whether it’s the group of two persons or ten, the topic of discussion here is already decided. Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) candidate Dr Murli Manohar Joshi, Congress candidate Shriprakash Jaiswal, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Kejriwal, electricity, roads and traffic jams are some of the most common topics of any conversation in Kanpur these days.

The names of Samajwadi Party (SP) candidate Surendra Mohan Agrawal, Bahujan Samajwadi Party (BSP) candidate Saleem Ahmad and AAP candidate Dr Mahmood Rehmani also sometimes manage to hog the pie of discussions.

Girish Khanna from Arya Nagar in Kanpur is still looking to solve the enigma of electricity, which betrayed him and other Kanpur voters even during Navratras.

It’s a power-shock for Kanpur that apparently generates maximum blaze for the state in terms of revenue, but it always remains sunk in blackout.

The condition of the roads is no different. In fact, ramshackle roads were also the major reason behind the communal tensions that erupted in the city on April 8. The road in Rawatpur village was in such a pathetic condition that the route of Ram Navmi procession had to be changed.

Rajesh Dwivedi from Indira Nagar in Kanpur believes the poor conditions of public facilities in the city would be the biggest poser for sitting MP Jaiswal, who is also a senior Congress leader.

The famous traffic jam of Ramadevi is perhaps as ancient as the city Kanpur is itself. On the hindsight, a flyover has been constructed here to solve this menace, but work resumes at this construction site only during poll days.

Rajesh said that Jaiswal’s easy accessibility is his biggest strength but he faces a daunting task to win from here this time around as he is being challenged by BJP heavyweight leader Dr Joshi alongside the all-pervading Narendra Modi wave.

Dr Joshi’s political experience and seniority makes a strong case for him from this seat but his teacher-like disciplined persona does not go down well with most of the people, including his own party men.

If we look into the demographics of Kanpur, it is dominated majorly by Brahmins, who are mostly inclined towards BJP but with Congress winning in last three general elections here, the entire political landscape of the city has intriguing poll equations.

A pharmaceutical trader Ghanshyam Agrawal from Govindpuri in Kanpur is more concerned about the decrepit and shut down factories in the city. He says there is no leader in the past who hasn’t promised to rehabilitate displaced workers in these factories, but the poor underprivileged workers are still waiting for them to flourish again.

Whether it’s Dr Joshi or Jaiswal or Dr Rehmani or Surendra Mohan, all of them need to find an answer to an extremely important question that why Kanpur, which was celebrated worldwide for spiritual places like Bithoor and its IT infrastructure, has been reduced to closed factories, polluted river Ganges and the unwanted tag of one of world’s most dirtiest cities?

This is one question which revolves in the minds of almost every voter in Kanpur, irrespective of them being a first time voter or an elderly one.


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