Will Amar Agrawal get a fifth term  or voters vote for change in Bilaspur?

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 13 Oct 2018 15:39:47


By Prasun Chhatterjee,

Oct 12,

Elections for the high profile Bilaspur assembly seat would be interesting this time with sitting MLA and Minister of Urban Development Amar Agrawal looking forward to set new record and win from here for the fifth time in a row while Congress is making every effort to bag this most important seat in the district. With former State Chief Minister Ajit Jogi’s party Janata Congress Chhattisgarh (JCC) also in the fray, the election will experience some interesting political game in the coming days. It is pertinent to mention that there is lot of discontentment among the people due to the ambitious sewerage system project which has changed the landscape of city.

The project which was to be commissioned in two years however could not be commissioned even after ten years with the cost multiplying by three-times. So far more than a dozen people have lost their lives and many others got wounded in accidents. But despite this Congress could not highlight the problems of people and encash the situation during the last assembly polls. Besides Arpa Diversion Project which is yet to set off, traffic and parking are also major problems in the city and Congress failed to raise these issues satisfyingly.

With maximum area of Bilaspur constituency coming under the limits of Bilaspur Municipal Corporation (BMC) the civic politics also play a vital role in the assembly elections. Besides Mayor, the BJP has a majority of Councilors. After inception of Chhattisgarh State all the Mayors in BMC were from BJP except Vani Rao who was from Congress. Most importantly caste politics does not work in city as the population is from all walks of life.

Railway settlement being the biggest area in city there are people from all categories who are hard to be lured by any party as vote from this area varies rapidly. The biggest problem for Congress party is dissidents. While there is only one candidate from Bilaspur the list of candidates from Congress is long. In the coming election State General Secretary Atal Shrivastava, senior party leader Ashok Agrawal, former Mayor Rajesh Pandey, former District President Vijay Pandey, former Legislatures Chandra Prakash Bajpayee and Arun Tiwari, State Secretary Vivek Bajpayee and S P Chaturvedi are seeking ticket from Bilaspur.

“Bilaspur is a peaceful city where people want to live peacefully. Police is tightening noose on the anti-social activities and the crime rate has come down. I have always given priority to positive growth with overall development of the judicial capital. Being legislature of Bilaspur I have always discharged my duties for the people and now they have to analyse my performance. Bilaspur has been named in Smart City Project and projects like traffic management, water conservation, solid waste management, Arpa Development Project are in fray”, said Amar Agrawal.

Congress aspirant Atal Shrivastava said that the condition of city is deteriorating day-by-day due to lack of infrastructure development. People are reeling under power and water crisis besides traffic being another problem. The sewerage system works has become a bone of contention for the civic administration and it is the innocent people who are compelled to face the brunt. Senior party leader Ashok Agrawal said that the sitting MLA since last 15-years has done nothing for the development of judicial capital. He said that the sewerage system has failed and Arpa Diversion Project is yet to take shape. He said that the government has spent crores on both these projects without any outcome. With chopping of the well grown trees in the name of development the temperature in the city has raised to 47-degrees during summer. People in city are still in dilemma when they would get relieved from the worst traffic system.

JCC Candidate for the ensuing assembly elections from Bilaspur Brajesh Sahu said that Bilaspur despite being the second biggest city in state has not experienced development due to apathy of the sitting MLA. He said that the attendance of children in Government sponsored schools, are decreasing due to lack of facilities. People are also facing the problems of health, ration card, smart card, water and power crisis.