Caste, not corruption, the big factor for Uttar Pradesh
February 8, 2012
By MANISH ANAND
It's caste, not corruption, that dominates Uttar Pradesh, where voters
appear to have shunned the sermons of self-styled Gandhian Anna
"Thank you, Anna Hazare, for making us aware about corruption. But
what to do? All are corrupt. We will vote for our biradari (caste)."
This is the message being sent by voters across the state, where the
first phase of voting will be held Wednesday.
Said Ram Kripal Verma of Khudiyapur village in Faizabad district:
"Anna? Haan, suna hai unke baare mein... Lekin chunao par koi asar
nahi hai, chunao jaat par ho raha hai (Anna? Yes, we've heard of him.
But he has no impact on the polls, which are being fought on caste
Team Anna's efforts to project Hazare as a messiah of the downtrodden
has also taken a beating.
Said Osa Devi at a nearby village: " Sab bhrasht hain. Ki karhin vote
to jaat par hi padhin (All are corrupt... What to do? Votes will be
cast on caste lines)."
In Barabanki, Brijesh Kumar Singh claims there are 'no takers' for the
Anna-style battle against corruption. For some, like Ram Bahadur Singh
of Gonda, Nitish Kumar appears a better role model.
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