UP polls: Politics of hockey in land of Dhyanchand

Posted By: Pti
Jhansi, Feb 25: It was a different pitch politicians tried to play this time in Jhansi in their bid to secure victory in a keenly contested election where each vote counts. Candidates from almost all the parties vied with each other in promising to work for getting the country's highest civilian award Bharat Ratna to hockey legend Major Dhyanchand.

One of the Independent candidates even contested the poll on the symbol of hockey stick and ball, although in reality politics is not all about sports in the rugged terrains of Bundelkhand where basic problems are galore.

A visit at Prem Nagar locality, in Seepari Bazaar of Jhansi town where the hockey wizard was based, explains why the politicians chose to the issue this time. The Jhansi Assembly seat went to polls on February 23.

Sentiments run high in the locality for 'Dadda' Dhyanchand whom, they feel, should be honoured with a Bharat Ratna for his legendary hockey exploits.

Just two months back, a massive signature campaign was launched in the town demanding Bharat Ratna for the hockey wizard as speculations gained ground that the government could consider the award for cricket star Sachin Tendulkar. Rallies were taken out in the Seepri bazaar in favour of the demand.

"There were some candidates, who gave it in writing this time that they will ensure Bharat Ratna for 'Dadda' if they win. One of the candidates, who got the hockey stick and ball symbol was making it the sole issue of his election campaign," says advocate Arun Kumar Singh, the son-in-law of Dhyanchand. Singh's house is near the residence of the late hockey wizard.


Story first published: Saturday, February 25, 2012, 15:45 [IST]
Other articles published on Feb 25, 2012
Please Wait while comments are loading...