Whichever wave may come, the Sharad Pawar family manages to keep its bastion, Baramati, intact, mainly on development works carried out by them. Why can't we see such developments in either Amethi or Raebareli, the so-called bastion of Congress' first family?
After weeks of campaigns, slogans and advertizements, we finaly witnessed “Abki baar Modi Sarkar” turning into reality. The Indian National Congress has faced an embarrasing and much needed defeat. But, for a few minutes, lets make a shift from this gung ho view of the Narendra Modi wave and look at the picture from a different point of view.
Much known for his austerity drives, strolls in villages streets and one on one meetings with the 'aam aadmi', we have very often heard Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi talking his connections with Amethi that are emotional and familial rather than political. On 6th April, the day Sonia Gandhi was scheduled to file her nomination papers from Rae Bareli, he told a cheering crowd: “Amethi and Raebareli are like a family to me'' he said, adding, “I am aware of the problems faced by you here. You leave it to us for their solution.''
The Gandhi legacy in Amethi has continued since decades altogether, large sections of populations considering Rahul 'bhaiya' their own. However, the picture that was painted by the election results is unusual. Rahul bhaiya faced stiff competition from Smriti Irani, the favourite bahu of TV soaps and BJP contestant from Amethi. Cleary, something seems to have gone wrong.
Neither the strolls, nor the pretended dedication has done any good to Amethi in all these years of incessant Congress rule. The dilapidated condition of the roads and other infrastucture further concretize this observation. With the country going tech-savvy and the era of e-governance approaching, Amethi still awaits a bare minimum of uninterrupted supply of electricity. Education, health care and other public enterprises remain stagnant. And while there's no development worthy enough to showcase, the factories and other establishments of the Rajiv Gandhi tenure have closed down. The growing distrust is inevitable, but also healthy in a democracy.
A similar plunge is also visible in Maharashtra, where the Congress–Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) has been rejected. After having enjoyed massive and unchallenged power for a long time, the Pawars are now tasting the flavour of people's anger. This leads us to a curious comparison between Amethi and Baramati, dynastic strongholds of the Gandhis and Pawars respectively. However, in deep contrast to Amethi, Baramati was fortunate to have enjoyed complete attention of the Pawars. In 2006, in keeping with the then union agriculture minister's aim of making his constituency a global show piece, Baramati went live with its own WiMax network. From agriculture to irrigation to industries, the economy of Baramati runs on well developed and updated systems. Well connected with the major cities in the state, last decade has seen growth of Baramati as a Prominent Education Center with Colleges and Schools ranging from Engineering to Biotechnology to Law and soon a Medical college is going to start in MIDC area. None of the above however, saved the Pawars from sinking in the quagmire of scandals that they built for themselves.
The question now is 'what remains ahead for Amethi's Rahul bhaiya?' Apart from just the embarassment, the abysmal performance calls for some genuine and serious introspection. Far, far away from women and youth empowerment or implementation of the RTI, Amethi continues to be deprived of basic amenities.