Patna,(BiharTimes): Gaya town assembly seat has a unique distinction in the state. Though Gaya town never witnessed any communal trouble assembly elections held since 1980 has always been fought on the communal line. Sometimes it had created a sort of tension too.
The irony is that the communal divide is not caused only by any communal or centrist party but the Communist Party of India too, which has always been putting up a Muslim candidate.
The irony is that in the last seven assembly elections––2005 saw two polls––the party has not won even a single time. In most of the time it has ended as runners up.
In the elctions held in 1980. 1985 and 1990 the CPI put up Shakeel Ahmed Khan and in all these elections he lost by relatively small margin.
However, he quit the CPI to join the Rashtriya Janata Dal. Since then he has been representing Gurua assembly seat of Gaya. In 2010 he is contesting from neighbouring Sherghaty assembly seat.
After his exit the CPI started giving ticket to Masood Manzer. He too lost all the assembly elections he fought, though the CPI has a tie-up with the then Lalu Yadav’s Janata Dal.
This time the CPI has given ticket to former state party Secretary and ex-Rajya Sabha MP, Jalaluddin Ansari. Like all the CPI candidates of the past Ansari too is a down-to-earth man. In the recent years perhaps no people’s representative has done so much development works for the people of Gaya as he as the Rajya Sabha member. Most of the roads and drainage system was built from the MPLAD fund provided by him.
Yet the past haunts the CPI. While in the earlier elections Congress’ Jai Kumar Palit used to defeat the CPI candidates in the last few election Prem Kumar of the BJP had won.
Prem has been representing the seat for the last about 15 years yet Gaya witnessed no development whatsoever. Though he is the roard minister of Bihar he failed to improve the condition of the town, which is facing acute water, power and drainage problem.
When Shakeel Ahmed Khan was the power minister some parts of Gaya at least had better power supply. Now the entire city gropes in darkness.
The underground water table has gone down and water supply system has simply collapsed. The minister promised to improve it but nothing has happened yet.
A couple of years back Jal Jamaat, an NGO with the cooperation of the Army Service Corp did dig up some old tanks so that in summer people could get water. But that was largely people’s initiative.
In spite of that if elections are once again held on communal line, as it is feared, Prem Kumar has an edge. But if the votes get divided he may face trouble.