By our LRS correspondent, April 2, 2019

With Gautam Budh Nagar (NOIDA) going to polls in the 1st phase of the Lok Sabha elections, on April 11, 2019, at least ten candidates are reported to have come forward with manifestos highlighting people’s issues such as education, health and security. 

They are directly challenging the candidates of the BJP, Congress and other national parties. They are fully well aware of the fact that the electoral system is heavily skewed in favour of the big political parties of the establishment, who have huge amounts of money, free media time and ample resources to carry out their propaganda. They also know that all the rules and restrictions announced by the Election Commission in its Model Code of Conduct, will be applied in the most arbitrary manner against them, while the big established parties will get away flagrantly violating these rules.

Yet, these ten candidates are very hopeful that people in their constituency will respond to the issues they are raising, as these are the actual problems that people face in their daily lives. People are very angry about the fact that the sitting MP did nothing to address the concerns of the people and did not ever visit the people of the constituency, during his entire term.  

Vinod Nagar, an assistant professor of Noida International University (NIU), is a candidate of the Rashtriya Bhartiya Jan Jan Party. He has raised the issue of unemployment and plight of the farmers. “People from outside come to work in Noida, but the local youth do not get jobs. Roads in villages are in a pathetic condition and farmers never get their due,” Nagar said.

Sher Singh Upadhyay is a trade union leader who has been fighting for pro-worker amendments in labour laws and increase in minimum wages. “There are over 20,000 factories in Gautam Budh Nagar and just one court to address labour issues. People have cases pending for 20-25 years. Many spend their entire life’s earnings in fighting cases against factories,” Upadhyay said. He represents the Rashtriya Janata Party.

He is confident of his support among the local workers. He also has innovative ideas for raising money for his election campaign. “There are about 10 lakh labourers in the region. If all of them support me, I will win. We have also started a one vote-one rupee campaign, asking people to pledge their support and donate one rupee to my campaign,” Upadhyay said.

Rampal, a candidate of the Rashtriya Samaj Paksh, has been actively engaged in teaching youth. He is raising important issues such as state funded, universal good quality education. “The current MP is facing flak for not addressing local issues. I am going to focus on improving education. There should be one syllabus for all students and education should be subsidised for all,” Rampal said. He is campaigning among the teacher and student community, to vote for him.

Independent candidate, Rodas Gupta has six masters degrees to his credit. He has been working in the community, for basic amenities and services. Gupta said he has ensured that nobody presses NOTA (none of the above) in his constituency. “All those who were going to press NOTA are going to vote for me. People respect me for my social service. Development and resolving local issues will be my focus,” Gupta said confidently.

These are just a few examples of numerous such stories that are coming to light. People all over the country are fed up with the domination of the existing electoral process by the big parties of the establishment. They are very angry with their elected representatives, who make big promises when they come to seek their votes, but never address the actual problems of the people of their constituency once they become MPs. These candidates have taken up the actual concerns of the people and are organizing people to demand their rights.

Lok Raj Sangathan supports these bold initiatives of candidates who are in the election fray, with the aim of highlighting the concerns of the people and challenging the stranglehold of the parties of the establishment.

Lok Raj Sangathan calls on voters to support and vote for candidates who are fighting in defence of the rights of the people.     

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