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Adopted by Varun Gandhi, but no different from other villages: The story of Vallipur

By Siddhant Mohan, Twocircles.net

There are two villages by the name of Vallipur in Sultanpur district of Uttar Pradesh. One of them is within city limits, while the other is nearly 25 km away. Sultanpur MP Varun Gandhi’s model village is within city limits. But both the villages share one thing in common—the road leading to both are equally dilapidated.

Like many other BJP MP’s adopted village, Vallipur is without any Muslim population. Although there are Muslims in nearby hamlets and city mohallas, Varun Gandhi’s adopted village does not have any Muslims. Nearly 80 % of the population belongs to the Nishad community, who are also known as Mallahs, while the remaining consists of Brahmin, Thakur, Gupta.

This village may have been adopted by Varun Gandhi in the first phase, but locals refuse to believe that this was a good thing. In fact, a local resident, Rakesh Nishad, says at the top of his voice while riding a bike that this village was better off before Varun Gandhi adopted it.

The total population of the village is nearly 4,000 and many people are MNREGA job card holders, but none got work under the scheme. Manoj Kumar Nishad, 32, too holds a Job Card but claims that he goes to the city for his daily work. Varun Gandhi got a cremation ground built here, but the work was done by machines. “If the work was done under MNREGA, then we would have got work. But with machines, the work is completed at a fast pace but the contractor made money, not us,” claimed Manoj. Even the boundaries of the cremation ground have fallen off.

Varun Gandhi has visited the village twice, but locals say that his visit was limited to mere announcements. They talk about how work on an overhead tank meant for drinking water supply has just started, and even for the construction of this project labour has been brought from outside.

Beyond promises, it is also clear that even when work has been completed, the quality of the work has left a lot to desire. Take, for example, the toilets in the village. There are no bio-toilets, but pakka toilets have been built. However, they are rarely used by locals. Sohanlal Nishad, a local, explains the situation: “So much sand has been used in the material that bricks fall off. Many have got it rebuilt after bricks fell. Finally, people have discarded them,” he says. A number of toilets have become a place to lay cow-dung cakes and several of them have broken walls. One of them has a tree growing inside it.

BJP workers, however, highlight the solar lights and how they have been installed in the courtyard of their homes even though many of them are out of order.

Shivkumar, a resident who deals in timber, says, “The water which you are seeing is overflowing from a sewer. During the rainy season you have to take your shoes in hand, fold your pants up to your knees to wade through it,” he said. This is the harsh reality of Vallipur. The roads, by-lanes are in shambles. Most of them are kuchcha and villagers have lost hope of them being re-laid.

Usha Devi, the village pradhan, says that contrary to the image, Varun Gandhi has done a lot of work in the village. Highlighting Gandhi’s works, her representative cites—road, light, toilet, shamshan and water overhead tank. Despite efforts, he fails to remember another work and leaves claiming that he has to go for election campaigning.

However, the model village is united in voting for BJP . Shivkumar justifies it saying that they have no other option. MLA Anup Sanda won from here but he has no relation with out work. So all Nishads are voting for Suryabhan Singh of BJP. “He may not work for us, but he will definitely not harm us,” says a local.