As the tussle between the camps of Ashok Gehlot and Sachin Pilot have been hitting headlines for over two weeks, a first-time legislator, away from the glaring eyes of the media, is busy protecting his field from locusts.
Bikaner's Shri Dungargarh constituency, from where Girdharilal Mahiya (62) had won elections on a CPI(M) ticket, is one of the worst hit by locust attack, and he says that Centre and state governments have not done enough to help farmers and compensate for their losses.
"Be it cotton, groundnut, or other crops, agriculturists are sustaining serious losses in wake of the locust attack. And at this time public representatives and political parties are busy bickering with each other," Mahiya was quoted as saying by Outlook.
A political slugfest is currently on between CM Gehlot and his former deputy Sachin Pilot. Pilot, a former Union minister, was recently sacked as the deputy CM and PCC chief of the state.
The power struggle between Gehlot and Pilot has been on since the Congress' central leadership picked the senior leader for the chief minister's post, but has now deepened with those in Pilot's camp claiming that there have been repeated attempts to undermine his authority.
The battle between the two has seen charges of horse-trading against the BJP, approaching governor and courts, and hundred of MLAs camping at luxury hotels — enjoying exquisite food and movies.
"Public representatives are elected by the people to work for their welfare and not for sitting inside five-star hotels, especially during a pandemic," Mahiya was quoted, as he claimed that he doesn't even know the name of the hotel where the Congress MLAs are staying. He also listens to the grievances of fellow farmers every day who are battling the locust menace, he added.
The Outlook report stated that people close to him vouch for his simplicity, which was also evident in his election campaigning. "He had no extra money to spend on his campaigning. It was a low-key affair where villagers volunteered for every bit. Small gatherings were held. Also, on the day of polling, villagers sent their own vehicles and carried voters to the booths", a close aide of Mahiya was quoted as saying. As per the election affidavit filed in 2018, his movable property is worth Rs 8 lakhs only.