Congress candidate from Kushinagar, RPN Singh, has alleged that the BJP-led NDA government only renamed UPA’s rural electrification scheme and did not spend a single penny for the project in the district.

The former Union minister alleged that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had failed to deliver on the promises made by him in 2014.

“A big factor here is unemployment. The prime minister doesn’t touch upon this which is extremely sad and dangerous. This is a young country. In the last 45 years the unemployment rate has never been so high,” Singh told PTI in an interview.

“All electricity connections in Kushinagar have been given under the Rajiv Gandhi Grameen Vidyutikaran Yojana. I got Rs 232 crore sanctioned for the project here. The name has definitely been changed to Deen Dayal Upadhyay (Gram Jyoti) Yojana but not a single penny came to this district under the current government,” he said.

Kushinagar is one of the few districts where it is a direct fight between the BJP and the Congress.

In this election, the saffron party replaced Rajesh Pandey with Vijay Kumar Dubey who was with the Congress before joining the saffron party. He was also with Hindu Yuva Vahini earlier.

The Samajwadi Party and the Bahujan Samaj Party alliance has fielded Nathuni Prasad Kushwaha from the constituency.

In 2014, Pandey won the election with a margin of around 86,000 votes by garnering around 3.7 lakh votes. Singh came in second with 2.84 lakh votes and the BSP was third with 1.32 lakh votes.

People in Kushinagar acknowledge that infrastructure was developed during Singh’s tenure, including the construction of road and bridge, Padrauna railway station, opening of cooking gas agency.

Those in favour of the BJP appreciate Modi for Ujjawala Yojana, toilets in villages and AIIMS in neighbouring constituency of Gorakhpur.

In Maharajganj, the Congress has fielded journalist-turned-politician Supriya Shrinate. She is the daughter of Harsh Vardhan, a Congress MP who passed in 2016.

She claimed that the BJP ran a Whatsapp and Facebook University and only the people who read those their syllabus ask what the Congress has done in the last 70 years.