The last phase of world’s biggest festival of democracy would see the cultural capital of our nation Varanasi and spiritual hub Gorakhpur constituencies going to poll on May 12.

The Purvanchal region, which touches neighbouring country Nepal in North, Bihar in East and Madhya Pradesh in South, is reminiscent of all the cultures.

For the first time ever, the voters in the Purvanchal region would test the might of stalwarts like Samajwadi Party (SP) chief Mulayam Singh Yadav, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) convenor Arvind Kejriwal and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi.

The reputation of regional satraps like Yogi Adityanath, Kalraj Mishra and RPN Singh would also be at stake here. Every leader would be raring to emerge as the strongest personality from the Purvanchal region.

Going by the political landscape in the region, the local issues have found no place in political parties’ agendas. National issues like inflation, corruption and unemployment have dominated most of the political campaigns in the Purvanchal region.

Almost tantamount to a change in our country’s political set up, the Modi mantra and Kejriwal hullaballoo are in full swing here in this region.

Enclosed by Narayani, Sarayu, Rapti, Ganga, Tamsa, Varuna, Gandak, Chhoti Gandak Rivers, the 18 eastern Uttar Pradesh constituencies, that go to poll on May 12, are Domariyaganj, Maharajganj, Kushinagar, Gorakhpur, Deoria, Bansgaon (Reserved), Lalganj (Reserved), Azamgarh, Salempur, Ghosi, Ballia, Jaunpur, Machhali Shahar (Reserved), Gajipur, Chandauli, Varanasi, Mirzapur and Robertsganj (Reserved). These constituencies reflect a blend of Awadhi and Bhojpuri cultures.

Contesting general elections for the first time, the Ulema Council might have failed in making its presence felt, but the party has fervidly raised issues of the Muslim community in the Purvanchal region. Whether it’s the Congress, the BSP or the SP, all of them fear the hubbub around the Ulema Council.

The presence of Peace Party in Purvanchal is also impacting the strategies of the major political parties. Mulayam Singh is going to contest elections from Purvanchal region. The SP chief hasn’t decided on Azamgarh for any reason. The Muslim-Yadav (MY) equation, which Mulayam has mastered over the years, is the key reason that has swayed the former UP chief minister into contesting elections from here.

Else none from Mulayam family could even envision fighting election from the Purvanchal region. The issues of terrorism and Ulema are still alive here.

Important mainly due to the numbers game, the Purvanchal region has earned the distinction of giving India prime ministers like Lal Bahadur Shastri and Chandra Shekhar in the past.

After a long time, the entire nation has once again set its eyes on the Purvanchal region from where Modi, Kejriwal and Mulayam are seeking people’s verdict in their favours.

Engrossed completely by the Modi rhapsody in past few months, Varanasi holds the onus of preparing ground for a landslide BJP victory in the Purvanchal region.
Chandauli and the Naxal-hit areas of Sonbhadra would also be the real test of the credibility of the much-projected Modi wave.

It’s a complete paradox that the road connecting the region, which would decide the future of several PM contenders, is still waiting for some Messiah to come and take care of it.

The National Highway-29, which connects Gorakhpur to Varanasi via Azamgarh, is also crying for help and despite several protests, no single leader has even cared to take a glimpse of it.


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