Hiralal Yadav

Hiralal Yadav, a Ph.d from Banaras Hindu University, is CPI(M)'s candidate from Varanasi. A city known for its traditional Banarasi sarees, weavers (bunkars), mainly from the minority community, constitute a large population of the city. The association of weavers -- Bunkar Dastakar Morcha -- is affiliated with CITU, which has a strong presence in the city, along with Kisan Sabha and Agricultural Workers Union in the rural parts of the constituency. Yadav has been politically active since his student years in BHU and was a well-known SFI as well as a DYFI leader. At present, he is a Party whole time and district secretary of CPI(M) in Varanasi and also State Secretariat Member of CPI(M) Uttar Pradesh State Committee. Despite being projected as a stronghold of the saffron brigade, the people of Varanasi have a long history of supporting Communists since Independence. Udal of CPI was a nine-term MLA from Kolassala (Varanasi), Rustam Satin of CPI a three-term MLA from Varanasi South constituency, Raj Kishore of CPI(M) a two-term MLA from Gangapur constituency and Deena Nath Singh Yadav, present state secretary of U.P. Kisan Sabha, won from the same Ganagapur seat in 1991. The Party has led several agitations against the arbitrary acquisition of agricultural land by the Coca-Cola company. In the name of HI-TECH city, A-to-Z company was trying to seize agricultural land and CPI(M) led a forceful movement against this, forcing the company to back off . There were vehement protests led CPI(M) against the SEZ in Varanasi, too . In 1967, Satya Narayan Singh was elected MP from Varanasi, which included Chandauli, now a separate district. Chandauli has a long and courageous history of struggle. In Chakia (Chandauli) landless agricultural labourers and adivasis seized the land of Maharaja of Kashi, the most powerful feudal royal family in the area. The land should have been vested by the government much earlier, which was not done. Twenty years ago, people revolted under the Red flag and seized more than 600 bighas in Musha Khan, Barat farm and Shadapur. The fight has a history of bloodshed, too. The poorest of the poor Musharas, Kols and other dalits fought every single attack for the last two decades to retain their land. In 2005, in Shadapur, the royal family tried to evict them and forcibly ran tractors in the 200 bighas possessed by the peasants. A brave resistance followed,in which Ganga Devi and Triloki laid down their lives. However, the peasants still retain possession. In these places the peasants do farming, though the production is low. No legal documents of possession have been given to them yet. It is this long and fighting legacy that Hiralal Yadav is carrying forward in the coming election.

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