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Villagers rue underdevelopment, government apathy ahead of UP polls

Rura , Sat, 04 Feb 2012 ANI

Rura (Uttar Pradesh), Feb 4 (ANI): Despite attempts by the political parties to hard sell hopes and promises, development and employment remain elusive for the 'common man' in Uttar Pradesh, and particularly in the seemingly forgotten village of Rura in Kanpur District.


There are many issues plaguing inhabitants of several villages across India. It could be a school that lies in shambles, or a dispensary with no medical staff, dirt roads perennially filled with potholes, or a perverse lack of sanitation facilities.


Moreover, villagers claim that there are no jobs, electricity and roads in the village for the past several years, an allegation that is proved by a walk through Rura's bye-lanes.


In the run-up to the elections, locals have been regularly practicing hurling shoes at a dummy depicting local politicians, in a bid to get their 'shot' right in case any candidate knocks on their doors seeking their vote.


The practice session takes place every day in the grounds of the village's semi-dysfunctional school, with villagers taking turns at throwing their footwear at the dummy to vent their ire.


Many villagers said the idea was an expression of their disappointment and disillusionment with the political parties active in the state.


"I am practicing hurling shoes at the dummy of the political leader, since there is neither any arrangement for schools in this village nor roads or transport systems. If any leader comes to this village to ask for votes, we will throw shoes at them to make them see our plight. That is why we are practicing hurling shoes here," said Arvind Kumar, a villager.


"They say that India lives in its villages. However, there is no development that is happening here. There has been no electricity in this village since the past six to seven years. How will children study?" rued Shiv Pratap Singh, another villager.


Polls in Uttar Pradesh are being viewed as an opportunity for major parties to re-establish their foothold in the country's fifth largest and most populous state.


Polls in Uttar Pradesh will be conducted between February 8 and March 3. Counting will take place on March 6.


A new 403-member state assembly will be elected in March. The poll results will broadly indicate trends for the 2014 general elections. (ANI)


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