This is just another small town in Uttar Pradesh. A town that makes its presence felt only once during elections. It had lost its voice of protest many years back. Ghosi remains wrinkled in its senile decay. The people here remain poor, the roads and streets had seen better days and gun toting youngsters discuss the price of their equipment with an air of pride. Original hai, daactar sahab.
Mau is a district in southern eastern Uttar Pradesh. It is part of Azamgarh surrounded by Ghazipur, Balia and the Ghagra River. Ghosi is situated in the Mau district. They are popularly known as Eastern Badlands of Uttar Pradesh after mafia war lords like Abu Salem, Mukhtar Ansari, Brajesh Singh emerged from these places.
Mafia-turned independent MLA Mukhtar Ansari was elected to UP legislative assembly from Mau assembly constituency in 2007. Mukhtar Ansari, along with his brother, is in the jail on the charge of the murder of BJP MLA Krishnanad Rai in 2005.
Not only does it have a long notorious history, the area is also a flood-prone region, where every year, 300 to 500 patients die of Japanese Encephalitis.
Atul Kumar Anjan, a poet and a communist leader had been trying his luck for a parliamentary seat from this town. He had failed repeatedly. I saw Atul just before the elections on NDTV discussing vehemently the fate of Congress I. He spoke with confidence about the left front repeating its spectacular success.
Atul Anjan lost miserably having received only 21947 votes in comparison to Bahujan Samaj Party’s Dara Singh Chauhan who got 220695 votes and was declared elected.
The seat was wrested from Chandradev Prasad of the Samajwadi Party who had fared well in the 2004 elections.
Caste, Cash, Communalism and Criminalisation dominates the politics of Eastern Uttar Pradesh Badlands. Atul Kumar Anjan later admitted that the left has lost its ground in this politically important state with the rise of casteism and communualism.
But Atul has been wrong. The poor run of the Left parties could be gauged from the fact that in the last general elections held in 2004 as many as 18 candidates including six of CPI, 10 of CPI-M and two of CPI-M(L) contested from UP, but none of them were able to win confidence and support of the electorate.
Only in 1962, 1967 and 1971, the Communist Party of India candidates Jai Bahadur Singh and Jharkhand Rai won from Ghosi. Jharkhand Rai won this seat again in 1980.
The constituency that had returned Mr Kalpnath Rai four times since 1989 without fail on different party tickets, is dominated by Bhumihars, a caste to which he belonged. Kalpanath Rai was actually called by his friends as Kalpanath Rai Ghosi. His wife Sudha Rai has failed to win this seat as a Congress I candidate. She has been basking on the so called glory of late Kalpanath Rai.
Atul Kumar Anjan speaks charismatically and offers a dream that the common man has rejected long back.
Ghosi remains a ghost town as night descends. One hears sometimes a stray gunshot and the ruffle of sparrows who take to the skies.
Anna Hazare remains largely unknown, just a strange feeling that might have crept in but largely repelled by its dwellers.