Lok Sabha Elections 2024: This is not just ’empty land’, BJP’s biggest ‘trump card’

The work on the Ganga Expressway being built from Meerut to Prayagraj is going on day and night. Big machines are working at a place called Baruwahar in Aihar village of Rae Bareilly. The movement of these machines and the dust coming out from the trucks carrying soil is reaching inside the houses of the nearby villages. But this is not a big problem for the people here.

A farmer from Aihar village stands near his farm and keeps looking at the Ganga Expressway. The government has taken the lands of many farmers of this area and in return a substantial compensation has also been given. Its effect is visible on the economic condition of these villages.

The prices of land have increased and because of this the distribution and promises made over the years with consent are also being broken. Due to the dust, a farmer put a towel in his mouth and says that the government has given so much money to some people that their generations can sit and eat.

On the condition of anonymity, the farmer said that this amount of compensation is also promoting drug addiction and all other wrongdoings among the youth of the village. On the other hand, some youths have used this money in new business as well and now their employment is going on and they are getting decent income.

But from a political point of view, all the expressways being built in UP and the compensation being distributed through them can become the biggest formula and reason for winning the elections. Uttar Pradesh is the first state in India to have 13 expressways. All of them will cover a total distance of 3,200 kms. Out of these, the movement of vehicles has started on 6 expressways.

Of these, the Yamuna Expressway and Noida Expressway were built during the Mayawati government and the Lucknow-Agra Expressway during the Akhilesh government.

This network of expressways in UP is actually like a maze in the Lok Sabha elections, which will not be easy to distinguish. Because in the last 8 years, a new kind of middle class has been created in the country with the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana, Ujjwala Yojana and the Free Grain Scheme and Kisan Samman Nidhi Yojana started during the Corona period, in which most of the beneficiaries are farmers.

A major part of these farmers are those for whom farming has been proving to be a loss-making deal for many years. But due to lack of any other means of employment, farming was the only source of income.

But due to the relief that has come from these schemes of the government, the ambitions of the youth of these houses have also increased. But the compensation received for the land taken for the expressway has taken them from the lower middle class to a group with higher purchasing power. It can be estimated from this fact that the farmers whose annual income used to be 4-6 lakhs, they have got compensation from 30 lakhs to 1-1 crores in one go.

Not only this, it is also being claimed by the government that preparations are also being made to set up industries along these expressways. Means those whose lands have not been acquired yet are waiting for it.

Expressway length and number of seats
The 10 expressways being prepared during the tenure of the BJP government are covering a large number of 80 Lok Sabha constituencies of the state. To understand this, we have assessed the routes of all the expressways.

Delhi-Meerut Expressway
The length of the expressway connecting Delhi to Meerut is 96 km. But because of this, people coming to Delhi from all the districts of western Uttar Pradesh have benefited a lot. Connects Delhi to Ghaziabad and Meerut. It passes through 2 Lok Sabha seats of UP.

Purvanchal Expressway
This 341 kilometer long expressway has started. It passes through Lucknow, Barabanki, Faizabad, Ambedkar Nagar, Amethi, Sultanpur, Azamgarh, Mau and Ghazipur. It passes through 9 Lok Sabha seats. This is the first expressway which directly connects Purvanchal with Lucknow. Now it takes only a maximum of 4 hours to go from Lucknow to Ghazipur. There is also a plan to set up industries along the Purvanchal Expressway. That is, along with compensation for the land, claims are also being made to increase employment. Eleven districts can be benefited from this expressway and the upcoming industrial area. This expressway has now been made of 6 lanes, which can be expanded to 8 lanes. This project was worth 22500 crores.

Bundelkhand Expressway
Rs 14,850 crore has been spent on the 296 kilometer long expressway. It has also been connected to Lucknow-Agra Expressway. This expressway has been started which passes through Chitrakoot, Banda, Mahoba, Hamirpur, Jalaun Auraiya and Etawah. That is, 6 Lok Sabha seats come under its ambit.

Gorakhpur Link Expressway
The length of Gorakhpur Link Expressway is 91.352 km. The total cost of this project is Rs 5876.67 crore. Passes through Gorakhpur, Azamgarh, Ambedkar Nagar, Sant Kabir Nagar. That is, passing through 4 Lok Sabha seats.

Lucknow-Kanpur Expressway
To build this 63 kilometer long expressway, land of 31 villages of Unnao and 11 villages of Lucknow district has been acquired. This expressway will pass through three Lok Sabha constituencies Kanpur, Unnao and Lucknow.

Ganga Express Way
This expressway being built from Meerut to Phaphamau in Prayagraj will be almost completed by the end of the year 2024. This expressway will be built till Meerut, Hapur, Bulandshahr, Amroha, Badayun, Shahjahanpur, Hardoi, Unnao, Rae Bareli, Pratapgarh and Prayagraj. That is, this expressway will pass through 10 Lok Sabha seats. According to the information received from PIB, Rs 36,200 crore will be spent on this expressway. This will be the longest expressway in Uttar Pradesh which will directly connect the western part of the state with the eastern part.

Kanpur-Ghaziabad Expressway
This 380 long expressway will go through Ghaziabad to Aligarh, Bulandshahr, Kasganj, Kannauj and Kanpur. This expressway will pass through 9 Lok Sabha seats. With this expressway, the distance between two industrial cities of the state will be reduced by 3 hours. Now it takes up to 6 hours to go from Kanpur to Ghaziabad.

Gorakhpur-Siliguri Expressway
This expressway, being built under the Central Government’s Bharatmala project, will connect Siliguri to Gorakhpur. Leaving Gorakhpur in UP, it will pass through Deoria and Kushinagar. After this, it will reach Siliguri via 9 districts of Bihar East Champaran, East Champaran, Sitamarhi, Sehore, Darbhanga, Supaul, Kasganj, Madhubani, Forbesganj. To make this, land of more than 50 villages of UP has been taken. The length of this expressway will be 519 km.

Delhi-Saharanpur-Dehradun Expressway
Rs 8,300 crore will be spent to build this expressway. With the construction of this expressway, the distance from Delhi to Dehradun will be just two and a half hours. This expressway will reach Dehradun via Ghaziabad, Baghpat, Shamli, Saharanpur.

Ghazipur-Ballia-Manjhighat Expressway
The people of the two states will benefit from this expressway being built on the border of UP-Bihar. This expressway, which will be 132.76 kilometers long, will connect Varanasi and Ghazipur and Ballia.

Game around 45 seats of UP
These expressways being built during the BJP tenure are touching about 45 Lok Sabha seats, where compensation money is being distributed among the land owners. Although in some places the matter is in the court as well, but this dispute is about increasing the amount of compensation. There has been no opposition to land acquisition anywhere. BJP will definitely make these expressways an issue in the Lok Sabha elections.

Delhi-Mumbai Expressway will pass through 5 states
While 10 expressways can affect more than 40 Lok Sabha seats in UP, the Delhi-Mumbai Expressway will pass through 5 states. These states include Delhi, Haryana, Rajasthan, Gujarat and Maharashtra. It is believed that before the Lok Sabha elections 2024, this expressway will be finalized and started. 1 lakh crore rupees are being spent to build this 1400 kilometer long expressway. In which there will be 8 lanes. India’s longest expressway is going to be built.

Delhi-Mumbai Expressway and Lok Sabha seats
The Delhi-Mumbai Expressway is passing through 36 Lok Sabha seats. In which most of the seats are with BJP only. If we talk about the states through which the expressway is passing, then all the seven in Delhi are with the BJP. All 26 seats in Gujarat, all 25 seats in Rajasthan and all 10 seats in Haryana are occupied by the BJP. BJP and Shiv Sena alliance won 41 out of 48 seats in Maharashtra.

In the 2014 and 2019 Lok Sabha elections, riding on the chariot of the Modi wave, the BJP destroyed all equations. Is BJP trying to make its way easier through these expressways this time because in the states where these expressways are being built, BJP itself will need some charisma to repeat its performance. The question is also whether the opposition is looking at these expressways?


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