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Panellists feel the BJP has done well in prime minister’s constituency but expectations were much higher

Celebrating his 68th birthday in Varanasi, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that his government is trying hard for the overall development of Varanasi to make it the gateway to Eastern India. He said that the Central Government is going to develop BHU as the medical hub of eastern India.  Has the PM started his poll campaign already? APN’s popular program Mudda discussed the issue. Anchorperson Anant posed questions to panelists including Congress’s Dr Umashanker Pandey, BJP’s Dinesh Singh, BHU Professor Dr TP Singh, SP’s Jagdev Singh Yadav and APN consultant Govind Pant Raju.

Dinesh Singh said: “The PM is responsible for the region and its development programmes. He has gone to Varanasi several times but the problem is that people see a political motive in everything.”

Dr Pandey said: “It was the PM’s poll campaign tour. Why didn’t PM do Bhagwan Ram’s darshan earlier? He spent the day with school kids, but the situation on the ground is far different from the way he projects. Ganga water is worse off today. What has this government done? When the PM says that before him no development work was undertaken in Varanasi, he’s forgetting that Manohar Joshi was also elected from Varanasi.”

Yadav said: “Look at the hidden agenda which was the main thing. The visit was just a populist move. The excuse was his birthday. Crores have gone down the drain in the name of cleaning up Ganga. Now after 4.5 years, what’s the point in visiting Varanasi? What new thing has been done in these 4.5 years?”

TP Singh said: “There have been a lot of expectations from Modi. I would not deny that development has not taken place at all, but a lot more needs to be done.”
Raju said:” I too agree that it’s not that nothing has been done. Modi is PM and MP from Benares as well. He certainly has to tell the people of Benares what all he has done. By saying that it was a politically motivated visit, we are making a useless allegation.”
Anant asked about governance in the town.

Dinesh Singh said: “Implementation of programmes is not up to Modi, change has been there though not at the expected speed. At least our PM does not run to Bangkok on his birthday .Gadkari has said till March 90 percent Ganga water will be clean. Such things can’t be done overnight. Look at the situation of the railway station and airport now, as well as the problem of hanging wires in the thin bylanes of Benares. The change for the better can be seen, though we are still not there hundred percent.”

TP Singh said: “Underground electrification work is being done, digging is tough in the small lanes but most of the work is done. Work is stuck only where it has hot some practical problems. Infrastructure projects take time anywhere in the world.”
Dr Pandey said: “Had there been any real development, PM would have got the certificate from the people.”

Raju said:”The promises made were huge. Look at the local conditions, the problems and the huge population. PM’s promises were definitely geared to win poll mileage, which the BJP eventually got. If all MPs do this kind of development everywhere, certainly great progress will be made in the country.”

Dinesh Singh said: “No one earlier gave any thought to Purvanchal developmemt. We are looking at allover development of UP. All How many tiomes have Sonia and Rahul visited their constituencies? Soon Ganga water will be worth drinking and washing both.”
Yadav said: “This government does not give the previous government its due, and spreads falsities. It can only take useless credit.”

When the issue of comparison with Kyoto arose, TP Singh said: “Let’s not compare Benares with Kyoto. Both are very different through both are heritage cities. We can’t compare the progress of Varanasi with that of Kyoto or Paris.”

Dr Pandey said: “This is a  jumle ki sarkar and looks for excuses . Is this development? Certainly not!”

—Compiled by Niti Singh Bhandari

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