Noida village tells its MP to stay out, protests show no sign of abating

Villagers blame him for a realty group reneging on its promises and for the many ills that hinder their development

He adopted their village, represents them in the Lok Sabha after they broke tradition to vote for him, but Union Minister Mahesh Sharma is now strictly persona non grata in Kachera with slogans and posters making it abundantly clear he is not welcome any more.

The protests, which started following a standoff with a realty group and spilled into anguish over the lack of development in their area, have been going on for the last six months, come rain, winter or summer and show no signs of abating. In October 2018, violent protests in Kachera village in western Uttar Pradesh’s Gautam Buddh Nagar bordering the Capital led to 86 locals being arrested after a standoff with a realty group.

The resentment still burns, deep and strong. The demonstrations since have been constant.

A poster declaring Kachera Varsabad, Mahesh Sharma ke god liye gaon mein BJP walon ka aana sakhta mana hai (This is Kachera. The BJP’s people are not allowed in this village adopted by Mahesh Sharma) is hung on a wall near their protest site and similar signages are seen at various entry points of the village. The anger, however, is directed primarily against Mr. Sharma, who they blame not just for the realty group reneging on its promises but also for the many ills that hinder their development.

Slogans like Modi tujhse bair nahi, Mahesh Sharma ki khair nahi (Modi, we are not against you, but Mahesh Sharma will not be spared) can be heard often.

In 2014, Kachera, which has around 4,500 votes, broke away from tradition in the Nagar community-dominated region with 27 villages and voted for Mr. Sharma, a Brahmin.

Faced with the continuing anger against him, Mr. Sharma said the agitation in the village was due to political reasons. Locals said they had sold their land to a private developer in 2010 and were given monetary compensation. They were also promised roads, drinking water, healthcare facilities, community centres, a degree college, a sports ground and improved facilities crematorium. However, the only thing the developer did was build concrete roads. And this, too, was improperly done with roads in the interiors of the village getting clogged during rains, said Dharampal Singh, a retired school teacher.

Bhupendra Nagar (27) alleged that on October 26, 2018, the administration, in cahoots with the private developer, destroyed standing crops, When the locals resisted, they were beaten and 86 of them arrested. That day, some people from the village reached out to Mr. Sharma apprising him of the situation and he assured getting them released in a day. Our people were in jail for 13 days, he said. The villagers said they are still hurting from that injustice.

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Printable version | Jun 1, 2020 1:30:29 AM |

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