Gorakhpur (Uttar Pradesh): Eastern UP, the cauldron of Indian politics, is on the boil yet again.
It's no irony that places like Gorakhpur in the remote corner of UP continue to witness communal flareups particularly with elections around the corner.
The immediate provocation this time was the murder of a young boy. The victim was a Hindu and it was enough to create mayhem.
The man being held responsible for stoking passions is three time BJP MP from Gorakhpur, Yogi Adityanath.
Hailing from the powerful Gorakhdham temple, Adityanath heads the Hindu Yuva Vahini - an organisation of youth which acts on the lines of the VHP, Bajrang Dal and several other saffron outfits.
Despite this, he says, "The government should punish those responsible for the communal violence in the state."
In nearby Mau, the situation is no different. Here it's Mukhtar Ansari who rules over the land.
Charged with several heinous crimes like murder and dacoity, Mukhtar also allegedly has links with the underworld.
A leader of the Muslims, he has won Assembly elections even as an independent earlier. For politicians, though it's all about scoring brownie points.
Says former state home minister, Chinmayanand, "Mulayam Singh Yadav has criminalised the state."
The main reason behind easter Uttar Pradesh's problem is the complete lack of any development here.
Industries like cement, sugar, fertilisers and even locomotives have closed down. Cottage and small scale industries - once a source of considerable revenue - are now fading away and unemployment has emerged as the biggest bane for people.
Says a Gorakhpur-based social activist, Talat Azeez, "It's the politicians and not the people who are to blame."
The fear now is that there could be more trouble ahead as elections in this politically turbulent state are announced.
The political leaders in this part of the country have succeeded in driving a wedge between Hindu and Muslim communities. The conflict has always translated into political gains for them and that's why Purvanchal is always on fire - more so during the elections.
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