The Battle For Bundelkhand
India Today|December 06, 2021
Uttar Pradesh election
Ashish Misra

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has a special relationship with Mahoba in Bundelkhand. Before the 2017 Uttar Pradesh assembly election, he launched the BJP’s ‘Mission Bundelkhand’ from here with a ‘parivartanrally’ in October 2016. This was the first time a prime minister was visiting Mahoba, an extremely back­ ward district in the region. The strategy apparently worked and in 2017 the BJP swept all 19 seats in Bundelkhand.

Keeping this in mind, Prime Minister Modi, along with Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath, once again launched Mission Bundelkhand from the Police Line Grounds in Mahoba on November 19. The prime minister also inaugurated four water projects, completed at a cost of Rs 3,240 crore. With this, drinking water could soon be available to the 430,000 people of Mahoba, Hamirpur, Banda, and Lalitpur districts. Modi also targeted the previous governments of opposition parties, saying they “played the game of commissions in the exca­ vation of dams and drains” while the people thirsted for water.

From Mahoba, the prime minister reached Jhansi, the land of Rani Lax­mibai, where he laid the foundation stone of a Rs 400 crore plant for mis­ sile company Bharat Dynamics Ltd. In a speech here, PM Modi remembered local heroines Laxmibai, Avanti Bai and Uda Devi, women venerated for their role in India’s freedom struggle. It was also no doubt intended as a feel­ good acknowledgment of the elector­ ally significant Thakur, Lodh and Passi castes these women came from.

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