Bah: Royal domination in the ravines of Chambal


When the votes are cast in Bah on February 10, in the first phase of the ballot, the decades-old hold of the Bhadawar royal family over this assembly seat will once again be tested. Bateshwar, the ancestral village of former Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee, is part of this constituency and also crosses the Chambal, Yamuna and Utangan rivers.

Pakshalika Singh, the Rani of the Bhadawar Royal Family and also the sitting MP (BJP), is again a candidate.

The importance of this seat can be judged by the fact that Akhilesh Yadav returned to Agra on Sunday to campaign in Bah and promised to make Bah a separate district, in addition to establishing a university in the name of the former Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee in Bateshwar and modernize the annual cattle fair.

The interesting feature of the seat of the Bah assembly is the dominance of the Bhadawar royal family which began in the 1950s with Maharaja Mahendra Ripudaman Singh who first contested the elections as an independent candidate and the sway grew. continued until his death. His son and former minister Raja Aridaman Singh had been a provincial MP for Bah six times and currently his wife, Rani Pakshalika Singh, is again a running MP.

“Those who did not belong to the royal family of Bhadawar won Bah only when that seat was reserved or when a member of the royal family did not contest. Thakur’s dominant and committed voter supported the family Bhadawar and members of the royal family are known to make good party choices to keep their record intact,” said former Bah MP and Congress leader Amar Chand Sharma. Sharma has competed nine times since the seat of the Assembly of Bah and was a candidate for Congress seven times and a candidate for SP and BSP on one occasion each, but won only once as a candidate for Congress in 1985.

Incidentally, it was in 1985, when no Bhadawar contested the polls. Amar Chand Sharma attributes his success to his popularity, even though it was the election a year after former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi was assassinated.

The Bhadawar family has won the Bah seat 11 times, but only once, in 2007, was defeated when BSP candidate Madhusudan Sharma defeated Raja Aridaman Singh with the support of Brahmins and Scheduled Castes, as social engineering history of the BSP was successful.

Madhusudan Sharma subsequently lost in 2012 and 2017 but is running again as the combined SP-RLD candidate while Manoj Dixit is the Congress candidate and Nitin Verma of the BSP as the Bah candidate.

There are a few voting booths in Bah where electoral parties have to go by boat. It has renowned Shiv temples at Bateshwar, in addition to renowned Jain temples at Shoripur. During his tenure as Chief Minister, Akhilesh Yadav held a horse show at the popular annual Bateshwar fair and held a bird festival in Jarar, Bah.

The constituency dominated by Thakurs, Brahmins and Nishads, lies on the border between Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh and was once plagued by gangs of dacoits repeatedly crossing UP and MP to avoid the bi-state police.

The law and order situation has improved considerably and tourism experts are now advocating the development of Bateshwar as a focus for rural and religious tourism. Bah and Bateshwar are connected by a memorial railway line to Atal Behari Vajpayee but the caste factor comes into play once the elections are over.

Lack of industry, less job opportunities, failing medical infrastructure were a problem and to address this, the locals demanded that Bah be a separate district.

Combination of castes:

Thakur- 80,000

Brahman – 80,000

Nishad – 40,000

Jatav – 40,000

Name of MP in office: Pakshalika Singh (BJP)

Name of finalist: Madhusudan Sharma (BSP)


  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Hemendra Chaturvedi is based in Agra as a Senior Correspondent, covering Agra Districts and Aligarh Division in Western Uttar Pradesh. He has been with HT since 1992 and has completed 25 years of association with HT.
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