Elections have been declared and turf is ready for the electoral battle. All stake holders are leaving no stone unturned to woo the voters. But still on the eve of the elections, people are still waiting for a regime that will effectively address the major concerns of the common man which have been unresolved for over last six decades. Parties and candidates who are running door-to-door campaigns to ensure their victory, are answerable to the people for not being able to sort out the problems of the latter.
Let us take a view of the major issues in the constituencies which are going for polls during first phase of election.

Sitapur (Population: 44.74 Lakh)

It is really very unfortunate that the constituency which is credited for producing the seasoned politicians and union cabinet ministers like Rajendra Kumari Bajpai and Ram Lal Rahi has such a low literacy rate- 37 percent. Women literacy rate in this area is 47 percent. Another unfortunate scenario is that the state government paid no heed to dying carpet industry of Mahmoodabad under this constituency. No new production unit has been set up for a long time and old ones are shut down. Shut down of a plywood factory located in district headquarter has rendered hundreds of people unemployed. There are still six sugar mills in this area but they are also in pathetic condition. Aspirants for higher education in this constituency have no option but to go to state capital Lucknow. Kanya Degree College is the lone option for aspiring girl students. This area is widely known for the famous pilgrimage Naimisharanya. Despite this, no government in the state cared to develop this place as a major tourist place. Recurrence of devastating flood badly hits the life of over four lakh people of this constituency every year. Political leaders representing this area talked a lot to save the people from the devastation of flood caused by Sharda, Saryu, Ghaura and Ghaghara rivers but in realty did almost nothing.

Barabanki (Population- 32.57 lakh)

First Education Minister of Independent India, Rafi Ahmed Kidwai and present Union Cabinet Minister Beni Prasad Verma were born in this constituency and even senior BJP leader Rajnath Singh represented Haidergarh assembly seat of this district when he was Chief Minister of the state. Despite this, only 28 percent male and 46 percent female of this area are literate. This data is enough to narrate the failure of all welfare schemes launched by the government in the past. Sad condition of industries set up in this region and every year’s devastating flood are the special feature of the life of the people living here. Two industrial areas were once developed in this area but now most of the production units set up that time are now closed down. Those who are engaged in producing Angochha (a kind of towel used in the countryside), a micro-industry, are leaving it. Politicians of this area had promised to create a municipal corporation in this area by merging Kursi and Ramsanehi Ghat, but the promise is still pending. There is another long pending demand in this area to carve out Dariyabad as a district from Barabanki. No initiative has yet been taken to resettle the people who lost their homes owing to devastating flood caused by Ghaghara, Gomati and Kalyani rivers every year in Ramsanehi Ghat.

Faizabad (Population- 24.68 lakh)

This area is credited for being the birth place of Lord Ram who was born in Ayodhya in this district. Veteran socialist Acharya Narendra Dev contested election form here. But despite being famous across the world as a religious city, Ayodhya still awaits for government’s initiative to emerge as a famous tourist place on the world map. The literacy rate of this area is also very low. About 30 percent people in this area are illiterate and this figure among women is around 40 percent. Even after six decades of independence this area still awaits for a medical college. People want to know form the political class of this area that why their promise for a hospital is still unfulfilled. No major industry could flourish in Faizabad whereas 23 small industries out 47 have already closed down. Many poll promises were made during previous elections to improve the condition of farmers of this area but no concrete steps have been taken till yet.

Balrampur (Populaiton- 21.49 lakh)

It is matter of great surprise that the area once represented by stalwart leaders like former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Nanaji Deshmukh has 48 percent illiterate people. About 60 percent women in this area are illiterate. Construction of Kudarighat bridge on Rapti river is still going on since 1992 and its completion is still desperately being awaited by the people. There is no Degree College for girl students of this area. Every year about 400-500 villages of Balrampur and Utraula are submerged in flood water and get disconnected from other parts of the state. No leader or government cared to take initiative for the industrial development. Power shortage is a major problem and many tiny industries of this Muslim dominated area have vanished. Neither party nor leader is ready to answer to the woes of the people.

Siddharth Nagar  (Population- 25.53 lakh)

The district was created about 22 years back and then Chief Minister ND Tiwari had inaugurated the foundation stone of the district headquarter. Present Chief Minister Mayawati had launched seven developmental projects at a time for Kapilvastu in 2007 but none of the projects could yield the desired result. Present speaker of the state assembly, Mata Prasad Pandey, represents this seat in the lower house of the state legislature. But the issue of construction of a bridge in Kachhar area is a long pending demand of the people and it emerges prominently in every election. About 39 percent people are illiterate in this area and over half of the women are unlettered. Even after the government’s approval, a Degree Inter College is yet to be set up and setting up a mini ITI for this area is another prominent demand of the people which is still pending. People in Domariaganj from where the Lok Sabha member Jagdambika Pal comes from, are demanding for a Girl’s Inter College since long. Condition of infrastructure like roads and electricity is pathetic.

Bahraich (Population- 34.78 lakh)

Prominent political figures like Rafi Ahmed Kidwai and Arif Mohammad Khan represented this seat in the Parliament but literacy rate of the population is around 51 percent. Moreover, over 60 percent women are still unlettered in this area. All the national highways passing through this area are full of pits and cracks. Once Bahraich was famous as the biggest market of Lentil pulse and about 150 pulse mills were located in this area. But most of them are closed down. Erosion of the water-side of Ghaghara River has been another big problem which is responsible for devastating flood in Kaisarganj, Nanpara and Mahasi. Chief Minister had earlier announced for making of concrete houses for the people who lost their shelter due to flood but the announcement is yet to be implemented.

Shravasti, (Population- 11.14 lakh)

Shravasti is a world famous tourist spot where people from 32 countries visit every year. Despite this credit, the literacy rate among women presents a gloomy picture. About 60 percent women here are illiterate. Other parameters of development for this area present a murkier aspect of life of the people here. There are only six state transport buses for the people to go to the district headquarter. A bridge on Rapti River on Ekona-Bhinga route is under construction since 1997 and is yet to be completed. It was announced in 1995 to construct an airstrip in Shravasti for the convenience of the tourists who come here from across the world. But the airstrip is yet to be functional. There is only one unit of fire-fighting service for the whole district to deal with the accidents.

Ambedkarnagar (Population- 23.98 lakh)

This seat is represented by the Chief Minister Mayawati. Once this area was famous for tericot industry which has now reached on the brink of its end. No government cared to giving a new lease of life to the dying cotton industry which has been a major source of livelihood for the the people of this area. Over one lakh power-looms are faced with the problem of market for selling their products. Former ministers Lalji Verma and Ram Achal Rajbhar were elected from here in the past but the problems of sugar-cane farmers failed to draw the attention of the government while the condition of road and electricity present a gloomy face of development of this area. Then Chief Minister Vir Bahadur Singh had laid down foundation stone of Tanda- Kalvari bridge which is still not completed. But on literacy front, the state is in better condition in comparison of the surrounding districts. About 75 percent population is literate and 64 percent women are able to read and right.

Gonda (Population-34.31 lakh)

Ongoing construction of three bridges on Tedhi River and one bridge on Bishuni River for the last many years is enough to tell the pathetic condition of the development of this area. Same is the story of Saryu Canal project. Even after many years of announcement for setting up a training and research institute for fishery, no step could be taken in this direction. A technical training institute was proposed to be set up here. But the talk for this proposal has died down. About 39 percent people are illiterate and condition of roads and electricity is very poor. Women literacy is below 50 percent.

Basti (Population-24.61 lakh)

This area was represented by Kehsavdev Malviya, a senior cabinet colleague of the first Prime Minister Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru. But even after over six decades of independence, the area has literacy rate around 69 percent while women literacy is only 58 percent. Basti is now not only a district but it has a statues of division. Even though, a development authority for this area is yet to be set up. Most of production units set up in the Basi industrial area have been closed. Munderva sugar mill which has already closed is a blot on the face of development of this area. Nobody knows when the construction of Kalvari-Tanda bride will be completed. 
 
JNN