Friday, April 17, 2009

Economic slowdown a boon for politicians contesting polls

The Economic Times Reports :-

SIWAN: The economic slowdown has come as a boon for the politicians contesting elections from Siwan and Gopalganj constituencies which are going to
the polls in the first phase on April 16. Thousands of skilled and semi-skilled workers have come back home after losing their jobs in Dubai and Saudi Arabia. A large number of residents of Siwan and Gopalganj are engaged in technical jobs like computer training, hardware and electronics. Due to economic crisis, at least 20,000 such employees lost their jobs and have since returned home in Siwan and Gopalganj districts. Rana, who was working with a Dubai-based electronic company, has lost his job. He has returned to his native town Siwan. "Like me, there are at least 20,000 people who have come back to Siwan alone. They all are trying their luck in another job," Rana told TOI. "Those who are abroad have also expressed their desire to cast their votes through the embassy," he said. Siwan is one of the few states in the country where highest number of money orders come from Gulf countries. In fact, some of the young professionals who lost their jobs have come back to their native places. Professionals working in places like Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Chennai and Kolkata have also come back, said a local businessman. It has become a boon for politicians contesting election here as most of these people from Dubai and Saudi Arabia are staunch supporters of RJD MP Mohd Shahabuddin who is currently in jail serving life term. Shahabuddin's wife Heena Shahab, a homemaker and mother of two children, is contesting election on RJD ticket. "We are hardcore supporters of Shahabu Bhaiya. He has done a lot for me and for Siwan," said a technician, Firaq Mia. "I am indebted to Shahabu Bhaiya who was instrumental in sending me to Dubai. RJD will get all my support. Fortunately, we are here this time to cast vote," said Imtiaz, a hardware mechanic. The RJD office in Siwan is located in the double-storey building on Babunia Road. Hundreds of young students are campaigning round-the-clock in favour of Shahab. "There is no need for her (read Heena) to campaign for herself in Siwan. We have no contest in Siwan," said RJD campaign manager Ajay Tiwary. Similarly, in Barauli and Bhore blocks of Gopalganj (reserved) constituency hundreds of people have expressed their desire to vote for the RJD.