UP elections 2017: Youngsters in Kanpur ditch caste barriers, vote for development

In Kanpur, it was a high-pitched battle between the Samajwadi Party-Congress alliance and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the 10 Assembly seats.

Sixty nine constituencies of central Uttar Pradesh voted in the third phase of state assembly elections. Till 5 pm, provisional data showed 62 per cent voting- a 2 per cent rise over 2012. That year, the Samajwadi Party had won 54 of the 69 seats.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and UP Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav took to Twitter in the morning and urged people to vote in large numbers. A total of 826 candidates were in fray and their fate will be decided by 2.41 crore voters.

In Kanpur, it was a high-pitched battle between the Samajwadi Party-Congress alliance and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the 10 Assembly seats. Though the industrial city recorded less than expected voting percentage, the youngsters were seen actively participating in the exercise.

The youngsters even ‘ditched’ the religion/caste based politics and ways of old traditional politics, for a better government and leader for separate constituencies.

Speaking to InUth, Azram Ali (28) said, “We are fed up of caste-based politics practised by almost all political parties. This time we have decided to vote candidate-wise. We will vote for a person whom we know is good, it doesn’t matter, to which party he/she belongs.”

“We want clean governance and not ‘goonda’ type of leaders,” said Rahul Bajpai, a resident of Aryanagar constituency.

Speaking about key problems, Arpit Srivastava, a student said, “Development and employment are two key issues here. Even the increasing lawlessness is a big concern for the citizens in this constituency. Whoever forms the next government in the state should do something to solve these problems.”

Though it was being said that demonetisation won’t be an issue this election, but it seems that some Kanpur voters didn’t buy BJP’s logic of ‘demonetisation is good for country’.

It’s not without reason that the BJP leaders were avoiding talking about demonetisation ahead of elections. Demonetisation evokes different reactions in different areas of the city, even though the theme of distress is universal.

“People of this region are also disturbed from the demonetisation drive announced by the centre and believe that poor had to face much inconvenience due to the decision. Even my business was affected due to this move,” said Ashok Tiwari, a trader.

“We gave Narendra Modi a chance at the Centre, but what he did in return wasn’t expected at all. We had to stand in lines to take out our own money and that too with so many restrictions. Everybody faced a lot of difficulty and I don’t think the BJP should be given a chance, just because they talk about nationalism and Hindutava,” said Deshraj Sahu, a teacher.

Some areas even witnessed heavy polarisation, including the Kanpur Cantt constituency.

Though Kanpur Cantt is a Muslim majority constituency, no candidate from the community has ever won from the seat. This time Muslims here seem to have voted for a single candidate.