<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Locals in Gogwan are a worried lot. Lack of development and jobs for the youth is one area of concern, but the most pressing one is that of health. Illness runs high in this village, one of the largest in the district of Shamli. Cancer, heart attacks, tuberculosis and jaundice continue to claim lives, and according to a list prepared by the locals, 33 people died here in 2016.“Barring one person who died in an accident, the rest of the deaths were due to illnesses, mainly cancer or water-borne diseases,” said Mursaleen Khan, a Gogwan resident.Gogwan, comes under the Kairana constituency, where the sitting MLA is Nahid Hassan from the Samajwadi Party (SP). Despite Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav’s campaign slogan ‘kaam bolta hai’ (work speaks), locals say that this does not hold true for this village.“He (Hassan) has never utilised any funds for the development of the village. Money has been systematically siphoned off in the name of providing rations or employment guarantee scheme programmes. Up to Rs 432 crore was allocated for 100 villages in the block, but not a single paisa has been used to upgrade water and health facilities here,” Mursaleen alleged.The village has an approximate population of 12,000 persons and a voter base of 3,000-5,000 people. The majority of the locals here are Muslims and barely 25-30 homes belong to Hindus, who belong to the lower caste of Kashyaps. Kashyaps are typically landless labourers or those who own hardly any land.A fight between the BJP’s Mriganka Singh and Hasan will determine the political fate of Gogwan. The rivalry is ironic given that there was once a deep friendship between Mriganka’s father, BJP MP Hukum Singh, and Nahid’s grandfather, Akhtar Hasan. Even today, the families are said to be close, but politics is a different matter.Before Hassan, Hukum Singh was the MLA here. After the Lok Sabha elections, he became the MP and so there was a by-election, through which Hassan became the sitting MLA two years ago. But it will be a tough fight for him to regain his seat, as some Muslim homes bear the flag of the BJP.“The votes in the village have been divided between the BJP and SP. The BJP has undertaken some development work in the village. They have upgraded schools here and even started a degree college in Kairana,” says Amir Ali, a villager.Despite repeated efforts, Hassan refused to speak to DNA.

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UP Elections 2017: Politicians turn a blind eye as illnesses plague this UP village