C'garh polls: Anti-incumbency may cost BJP Bilha constituency

Bilha (Chhattisgarh), Nov 13: The slow pace of development in the rural areas may cost BJP its seat in Bilha constituency in Chhattisgarh, represented by Legislative Assembly Speaker Dharam Lal Kaushik.

Bilha, which is known for its high rice production, has a majority population of Scheduled Castes, who accuse the ruling party of denying them benefits under various Centre-run welfare schemes. People in the constituency, which has over 200 villages, complain of deteriorating law and order situation, lack of water and sanitation, proper education and health care facilities.

"BJP MLA has recently started working for people. He is making roads in the fifth year of his rule. There is no big government hospital in the area. There is poor road lighting," Deendayal Sahu, a farm labourer who works in Chakarbhata village in the constituency, said.

Kusum, who is in her mid-40s and works as a labourer, also claimed that there is limited development in the area.

"Schools here are in bad shape. I have to wait for long in a queue to get ration from government-controlled ration shop. Shopkeepers do not treat us well and keep us waiting for getting our ration saying they are out of stock. At times, we need to visit the shop 2-3 days in a row to get our share of ration," she said.

A visit to Bilha constituency gives a divided picture of development. Construction of roads connecting Bilha 'basti' (township) from Bilha Mode (turning) to National Highway 130 connecting Raipur, is in full swing. Roads in main Bilha 'basti' and some of its adjacent areas are comparatively better, but most of the villages in the area are yet to see all-season roads to connect them with each other. Electricity poles are being erected and wires being laid along some of the roads in Bilha in the state known for its abundant power production.

"We do not get water for our crops. There is a lack of canals and electricity to ensure sufficient water supply to our crops," Krishna Modak, a villager of Deokirari village, said.


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