The stretched farmlands of East Champaran tell the story of agrarian distress.
But that, ironically, doesn’t seem to be coming in the way for Union agriculture minister and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP Radha Mohan Singh as he stakes claim for the sixth time from the constituency.
Bihar NDA leaders, however, say the minister has done a lot for the state. “Radha Mohan ji has brought development to Motihari. He brought Mother Dairy to East Chamapran and even set up an integrated agriculture research centre near Motihari. A four-lane highway was constructed from Motihari to Patna because he insisted on it. There is no competition,” said Bihar Tourism Minister Pramod Kumar.
Pitted against 27-year-old Akash Singh — the Rashtriya Lok Samta Party (RLSP) candidate and son of Congress Rajya Sabha member Akhilesh Singh — the saffron leader is portraying this election as his last one as he will be above 75 in 2024. “I will be in Marg Darshak Mandal next time,” Radha Mohan joked during a road show.
The people, however, are reminding him of his forgotten promises. “Last time (2014), he promised us that the sugar mills in Motihari and Chakia would start again. Even Modiji promised us that he would return for a cup of tea with sugar from a Motihari mill. Perhaps, that’s why the PM is not coming to Motihari this time,” said lawyer Ajeet Singh.
Akash is confident of a win. “My father tried to bring sugar mills to East Champaran, but Nitishji held back the necessary clearances. Modiji is known for his empty promises,” he said.