Hot weather plays spoilsports during electioneering in Hamirpur constituency of Himachal

Farmer’s absence haunts politicians

HAMIRPUR: With the electoral battle lineup is finalized for the Hamirpur seat and eight candidates are now left in the fray, the leaders and workers of various political parties and those supporting the independents are highly worried about the heat waves lashing the region for the last one week. The main fight on this seat is between the sitting BJP MP, Anurag Thakur and Narednra Thkaur of the Congress party. Congress candidate is a former Hamirpur district BJP chief and had left the BJP on October 20th,2008.
Hot weather coupled with the harvesting season is playing spoilsports during the current elections in all parts of the Hamirpur parliamentary constituency. This constituency spreads over seventeen assembly segments of the districts of Hamirpur, Una, Bilaspur, Kangra and Mandi. Hamirpur goes to polls on May 13th.
With temperature rising slowly and steadily, it is bit difficult to venture out during the day time. People take part in the rallies only in the evening hours when the temperature goes down and cool waves starts sweeping across the region.
Leaders and workers of various political parties mainly, the BJP and the Congress are highly upset with the poor turnout of the people in their election meetings. Politicians fear that if this trend continued, the turn out at the polling stations that used to be around sixty percent in the previous elections will be not more than fifty. It was virtually fifty percent polling in the 2008 bye elections to the Hamirpur seat in which Anurag Thakur of BJP had emerged victorious by a margin of 1.75 lakh votes.
That is the main reason that the leaders of all parties have directed their cadre to meet every one in their respective areas and ensure their participation in the elections. Anurag Thakur, sitting BJP MP, who is re-contesting from Hamirpur seat said that the party cadre had already drawn a strategy to take all to the polling stations to raise the polling percentage above sixty-five.
A visit to various assembly segments of the Hamirpur Lok sabha seat shows that the failure of the Rabi crops is the main reason behind the poor rallies this time. Farmers are taking little time in discussing the politics and rather talk only about their poor crops.
At a road side village in Una district, a group of farmers was discussing the future of Kharif crops with the poor rainfall so for. They lamented that while they have lost their successive crops, no relief has yet arrived to them from the government agencies. Satwant Singh, an elderly man said that political parties and their leaders were to be mainly blamed for sufferings of the farmers. They come and talk to us only during the elections and make lofty promises. But once elections are over no one thinks about the farmers who constitute ninety percent of the state population.
Ramesh Kumar of Awah Devi who has lost almost his entire crop said that it was difficult to mange both ends meet as situation at the home front was dismal. He said that he was upset by thinking about the next crops of Kharif for which he has neither seeds nor fertilizer. Moreover, there is no scope of timely rains this time, he told.
Balwant Singh of Thara village of the Kangra district lamented that no party had come out with farmer’s oriented manifesto.’ The main job of the politicians is to befool the farmers, get their votes and then enjoy for next five years”, he added.
Sukhvinder Singh Sukhoo, the Congress MLA from Nadaun also showed sympathy with the farmers and said that he would definitely take up this issue in the state assembly during its next session. This issue will also become a major issue in the ongoing Lok sabha elections and the Congress party is raising this issue with prominence, he told today.
However, Prem Kumar Dhumal, the HP Chief Minister and senior BJP leader told this reporter that BJP government in the state was seized of the plight of the farmers and would help them to the maximum.
He said that crops insurance scheme had been introduced in the state and he was told that there were many flaws in the scheme. “The government will do its best to remove these flaws and make this scheme people oriented so that poorest among poor were also helped under the scheme”.

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