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Voters repose faith in old warhorses

Local politics in the state capital seems to have changed only a little in the past 10 years with most residents trusting the tried and tested.

Over 20 councillors, who have been elected to Patna Municipal Corporation (PMC) in the recently held elections, have made a perfect hat-trick by returning to power.

Of the 68 wards, results of which are already out, as many as 21 ward councillors would be part of the corporation for the third time in a row.

Prominent among them are former mayor Krishn Murari Yadav, Deepak Chaurasia, sitting mayor Afzal Imam, Jainarain Sharma, Abha Lata, Vinay Kumar Pappu, Rup Narain, Shyam Babu Yadav, Gyanvati Devi and Reeta Rai among others.

Many attributed the reason behind the remarkable success of these candidates to their “strong connect” with people and efficient management of local issues”.

“If you visit the wards of councillors like Imam or Pappu, you will not find many people expressing dissatisfaction against these leaders. They have managed it so well at the grassroots level,” said a source.

The politicians who have won the PMC elections for the third consecutive time are mostly the strongest leaders in their respective areas and have defeated the nearest rivals with big margins.

Imam, for example, defeated his nearest opponent by over 3,200 votes from ward number 52, registering the second biggest victory in the elections this time.

Jainarain Sharma, who is also a third-time winner from ward number 51, is a veteran of sorts. He has been representing the ward from 1984 when PMC elections were last held before 2002.

Krishn Murari Yadav has got ward number 27 in legacy. His father, Gayadeen, had been a councillor since 1952 when the PMC elections were first held. Yadav took over from his ageing father in 2002 and has been winning since then.

Sitting deputy mayor Vinay Kumar Pappu, who claims that he was so popular in his locality, ward number 28, that nobody chose to contest against him in the elections.

“PMC is only local body in the state where more than 50 per cent old faces were elected by the public to represent them once again. In other districts, 90 per cent of the old representatives lost the polls. Here also, only those who performed and worked hard to get development in their areas were recognised by voters. Those who kept running after MLAs and MPs were shunned by public,” Pappu said.

Pappu added that as councillors were responsible in taking various government schemes to the people, it maintained a direct link between them and the voters.

“We got below poverty line and above poverty line lists amended after so much effort and it benefited thousands of families. Efforts like these worked in our favour and made us popular among the people,” said Pappu.

As the city remains a BJP stronghold politically since decades, it reflected in the corporation election results as well. Most of the councillors are associated with the national party, followed by JD(U).

Many, on the other hand, said as the city has got a kind of makeover in the past seven years under the NDA regime, many councillors have immensely benefited from it.

“When a person goes to vote, there are many factors that govern his decision. Even though issues like water crisis and waterlogging owing to lack of proper drainage have remained the same, the city has got better with many parks, shopping destinations and better sanitation,” said Suhasini Sharma, a lawyer and resident of SK Nagar.