Neemach, Nov 20 (UNI) Sitting BJP MLA Dilip Parihar is facing difficulty in retaining the seat in this rich agriculture belt of Malwa region which is famous for its Krishi Upaj Mandi and opium cultivation. It is also the birthplace of the Central Reserve Police Force.
Parihar belongs to the Rajput community and is up against Congress’ Satyanarayan Patidar in this pre-dominant Patidar constituency.
Farming is the main source of livelihood and those engaged in agricultural activities are normally not distinguished by caste.
But this time round, by projecting a Patidar candidate, the Congress has played the caste card and is wooing Patidars.Satyanarayan Patidar belongs to Jawad tehsil, but has been fielded from Neemach to influence the Patidar community that was amongst those who agitated in June 2016.
Hardik Patel, who led the Patidar reservation movement in Gujarat, is reported to have appeared on the scene and is planning to hold meeting in this region that saw farmers’ agitation in Mandsaur district in 2016.
Speaking to UNI, farmers in rural areas expressed mixed opinion about remunerative prices for farm commodities which has been cause for unrest under different political regimes.
If Kallu Singh in Gulab Khedi village talked of not getting compensation in time for damaged soyabean crop last season, Bapu Singh in Billari village recalled firing on farmers in Multai during Congress rule in Madhya Pradesh and said even then they had strewn onions on the road for fall in prices.
But BJP’s Parihar is in difficulty because of himself. People in various villages visited by this UNI correspondent complained that he had not been regularly available for them in the last five years.
Satpal Singh Borana, Toofan Singh in Gulab Khedi village said they were not getting price for agriculture produce and were turned away when they went to the MLA to complain against two school teachers.
Being a low lying village, they have water logging problem in monsoons and blamed the MLA for that. Patidar has canvassed here but Parihar is yet to visit.
In Billari village, the government had constructed about 80 pucca houses under Prime Minister’s Awas Yojna but farmers were unhappy about not getting “uchit daam” (proper prices) for farm produce.
Assurances given by Parihar during a campaign in the Anaj mandi did not enthuse farmers who had to queue up for getting benefit of Bhavantar (price differential) Yojna.
Since 1990, the BJP has traditionally retained this crucial seat in neighbouring Rajasthan. It lost only once since then in 1998 to Nandkishore Patel of Congress.
But while the people are keen to retain Shivraj Singh Chouhan as the Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh, they are dissatisfied with the sitting MLA who has to blame himself for his troubles. Any other candidate would have sailed through, even against a Patidar, in this BJP’s traditional stronghold.
The Insides Speak.