Reel Ram faces trust hurdle in winning voters hearts

| | Meerut
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Reel Ram faces trust hurdle in winning voters hearts

Friday, 05 April 2024 | Deepak Kumar Jha | Meerut

Reel Ram faces trust hurdle in winning voters hearts

With rampant economic growth, infrastructure development like Rapid Rail and developers lining up to build colonies as part of extended Delhi-NCR, the voters of `City of Revolution’- Meerut — is a bit confused this Lok Sabha elections though it has sent BJP’s Rajendra Agarwal to Parliament three straight term.

The regional heavyweight who boasts of a large accepted base of party workers, supporters has now been replaced by famous tele-serial Ramayan’s ‘Ram’, Arun Govil, causing a bit of reluctance within the volunteers who continue to vow their allegiance to incumbent Parliamentarians.

Polling in Meerut will be held in the second phase on April 26 and Prime Minister Narendra Modi kick-started his Uttar Pradesh’s campaign from Meerut early this week.

Some of the residents expressed their concern and sought to know whether ‘Arun Govil’ will do a `Nitish Bhardwaj’ here in Meerut. Another popular tele-serial Mahabharata’s Krishna essayed by Nitish Bhardwaj who made a political debut as BJP’s MP from Jamshedpur and then had to shift to neighbouring Mathura and during his both tenure his posters came across in the cities stating that their Lok Sabha MP has gone missing as he never returned after being elected. 

On his part, 72-year-old Govil said he is contesting Lok Sabha polls not to do politics but to serve the people of Meerut where he was born and brought up. The yesteryear `Prabhu Ram’ will face a triangular contest and hence an advantage against the two others — BSP’s Devrit Tyagi and INDIA alliance backed Samajwadi Party’s Sunita Verma.

Interestingly the SP changed its candidate two times from Meerut. First, it fielded Bhanu Pratap Singh but replaced him with Atul Pradhan and again replaced Pradhan with Sunita in the constituency which reflects a diverse demographic and remains a crucial constituency of Uttar Pradesh with 64 percent Hindus and half of its Muslims.

In the 2019 General Elections, Meerut witnessed a fierce electoral battle where Agarwal won with a margin of less than 5,000 votes. Agarwal defeated BSP’s Haji Yaqoob Qureshi while in 2014, Agarwal defeated BSP’s Mohammad Shahid Akhlak.

“Meerut people are very sentimental which is evident from its past history. We have always been lucky to have our own locals to represent the city in legislation.

According to the election affidavit filed by Govil, he is a resident of Versova in Andheri West area of Mumbai and also a voter of the Versova Assembly constituency. Am not saying that actor turned politicians have not been not successful given examples of Hema Malini, Shatrughan Sinha, Jaya Prada, but there have been instances of Dharmendra, Sunny Deol and Mahabharata’s episode Nitish Bhardwaj.  We are only  concerned whether he will remain consistent,” says Shyam Rana, a trader in the Meerut Cantonment area. 

In his campaigning and public meetings, Govil has maintained he was born in Meerut and spent the first 17 years of his life in the city.

He did his Class 10th from Government Inter College, Meerut in 1966, and he passed his Class 12th from Government Intermediate College Saharanpur in 1968. He did BSc from Shahjahanpur College, affiliated to Agra University, in 1972.

“I was born in Meerut and spent 21 years of my life there, including the school days,” Govil said.  To a question about his contribution to society and Meerut in particular, he said, “I can say that I served society spiritually, infused the sense of duties, relations and heritage through my role in the Ramayan. Those who remain connected with roots keep associating with nationalism.”

Govil himself admits that he was not familiar with all the issues and problems of the Meerut-Hapur Lok Sabha constituency but told The Pioneer that he has started seeking help of MLAs and MPs from the region to know and prioritise issues and work.

“I am not here to do politics but serve the people,” added Govil who ‘explained’ his political intentions being active on social media platforms in the last couple of years and then was a special invitee for the consecration of Ram Temple in Ayodhya in January this year.

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