28 October, 2020

An MA In Economics, Santosh Rao Is BSP's Foot Soldier In Aligarh

Photograph by Tribhuvan Tiwari
An MA In Economics, Santosh Rao Is BSP's Foot Soldier In Aligarh

The roads are pink from the gulaal that wasn’t played long ago. A ­motorized, rickety cart attached to a scooter with fading colours is parked alongside a bubbling drain. Two eight-year-olds are locked in a fierce battle, while a third is rending the air with a red plastic whistle. A dog, with an onion peel perched on its quarters, looks on.

In Aligarh’s Nagla Kalar area, Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) worker Santosh Rao, 28, is campaigning for party candidate Ajit Baliyan. “Hum haathi, cycle, nal waale hain (Elephant, cycle and hand pump, these are our symbols),” he says, carrying the flags of BSP, Samajwadi Party (SP) and Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD)—the three constituents of a gathbandhan in UP ahead of the April-May parliamentary elections. “And don’t forget to take the women and ­elderly with you.”

Rao comes from a family of BSP members. An MA in economics from a private college in Aligarh, he...



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