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Political scenerio

Akhilesh Singh, BJP hopes the bridge Cong never built will see it across , March 6, 2017: The Times of India

Popular as “Mini MLA “, this village has over 30,000 voters. With schools, banks, ATMs and two police stations, this village has 18 localities. Local youth generally opt for careers in the armed forces and the Army holds recruitment camps. Welcome to Gahmar.

Around 130km from Varanasi, Gahmar is in the Zamania constituency of Ghazipur that votes on March 8. Minister Om Prakash Singh is the incumbent MLA seeking reelection as SP nominee. He's fighting BJP's Sunita Singh.

Gahmar made headlines when PM Narendra Modi, at Ghazipur last year and Mau recently, recalled a 1962 incident in the LS. Then Ghazipur MP , Vishwanath Singh Gahmari -a Gahmar resident who'd won the 1962 polls on a Congress ticket -had made an emotional appeal in Parliament about his region's grinding poverty .

His appeal saw Jawaharlal Nehru forming the Patel Committee with a view to addressing Purvanchal's poverty. Modi recalled how Gahmari talked of people sifting through animal excreta to collect undigested grain for food.“Bulls fed on wheat and gram and the poor filtered the excreta, segregated the undigested grain and cooked it for food,“ recalls Arun Kumar Singh, one of Gahmari's four sons living here.

Gahmari died in 1974. The Patel Committee made recommendations, including a railway bridge over the Ganga connecting Tarighat near Gahmar with Ghazipur. The Congress ignored the proposals for decades. Modi recalled how his government had finally begun building the bridge. “Our only wish is to dedicate this bridge to our father,“ says Arun. “It'll be a fitting tribute to my father,“ he says.

The bridge is one project BJP talks about to woo voters. And, BJP nominee Singh seems strongly placed, thanks to non-Yadav OBC and upper caste voters. Bihar politician Dadan Pehalwan's son Kartar Yadav is in the fray and that means a split in Yadav votes, hitting the prospects of SP's Singh. BSP's Atul Rai, allegedly part of the Mukhtar Ansari gang, hopes for a Dalit-Muslim consolidation.

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