Alirajpur – The poorest district in Madhya Pradesh and in India

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When we topic of development comes up, the governments keep showing the pictures of bustling cities, ‘clean’ industrial towns and some parts of villages where the ray of development has reached. The governments change but the trend remains the same. The neglected districts like Siddharth Nagar (Read here: The story of neglected birthplace of Gautam Buddha, Siddharth Nagar) keep praying for a slight recognition from the government. Alirajpur is one of those neglected districts.

Alirajpur is notorious for being the poorest district in India with 76.5% people living below poverty line. Based on the Multidimensional Poverty Index 2018 data, Madhya Pradesh is the 4th poorest state in India. Alirajpur was a princely state in the Malwa region before India’s independence. The economy of Alirajpur is predominantly dependent on Agriculture, the cash crop being mangoes. Recently, it was in the limelight for a 30K bribery case. The Lokayukta police Wednesday caught an employee of the Madhya Pradesh Panchayat Department in Alirajpur district allegedly taking a bribe of Rs 30,000.

Alirajpur fulfills all the duties of a democratic district. This state election saw a rise of more than 4% in voting and reached more than 60%. This turnout was much higher than the average. Congress’ Mukesh Rawat won the seat by a margin of about 22000 votes.

Despite fulfilling all the responsibilities of a democratic district, why is it the poorest district? Why did the development didn’t reach the lowest strata of society? Madhya Pradesh had a stable government of BJP since 2005. Besides, BJP is in power in the center. Then, why was this district neglected? Whatever the case might be, people haven’t lost their hope. They still vote and this time, they voted for Congress. Let’s see if Congress becomes a savior for the people of Alirajpur or it becomes a BJP 2.0 version. Only time will tell.

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