Maya's popularity on the decline in Badalpur
Aniruddha Ghosal, TNN | Feb 1, 2012, 03.07AM IST
BADALPUR (GREATER NOIDA): Mayawati seems to be losing out the
unconditional support that she enjoyed from her ancestral village
Badalpur. The farmers there have become disillusioned with her,
particularly after the construction of a grandiose estate in the
village. Even though she has managed to retain the support of Dalits,
she has become unpopular among the others, many of whom lost their
land through the now-notorious urgency clause for the construction of
Maya's extravagant projects.
With less than a month to go for the UP assembly polls, even though
the BSP remains unpopular, the villagers say they lack options.
"Mayawati acquired land from us to build a palace for herself, but we
got nothing in return. The farmers will not vote for Maya, that we are
certain. But other options aren't that appealing either," said Ranvir
Nagar, who lives a few metres from Mayawati's mansion and had moved
court against land acquisition.
Villagers say that massive constructions and extravagant display of
wealth is an important factor for the decline of Mayawati's
popularity. "The land was acquired with the promise of employment to
the locals. We were told it was for industrial use. But now there are
gardens and palaces being built while we starve since we don't have
fields to till anymore," said Arvind Bhatti, farmer leader, Badalpur.
However, the Greater Noida Authority (GNIDA) maintains that land was
only acquired to build the helipad and the two gardens in the village.
The estate is being built on an independent plot. According to sources
in GNIDA, the cost of construction of the helipad is estimated at Rs
3.24 crores while the two parks cost Rs 3.81 and Rs 5.19 crores
Villagers are, however, not convinced with the Authority's argument.
"How will the two gardens and the helipad help us earn a living?
Mayawati's brother, Anand Kumar comes here almost every evening to
inspect the construction of the mansion," said Kapil Nagar, a 16-year
old resident of the village.
Fakir Chand Nagar and Satyaveer Singh Gujjar will represent SP and
BSP, respectively, from Dadri while BJP has fielded former minister
Nawab Singh Nagar to contest from the assembly seat. Congress is yet
to declare a candidate.
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