Unskilled worker Ajeet: no interest in politics, but will vote Nitish
- Ajeet Kumar Patel, 20, worked for a company in Surat for the last five years
- He comes from a poor family - his father is a mason, and mother and brother are labourers
- Ajeet says political news puts him to sleep - he has no interest
- Asked why, he says it\'s more important for him to earn his dal-roti
More in the story
- Why Ajeet will vote for Nitish
- His unique take on PM Modi
Elections are not just about politicians. They're about people and issues. And what will really drive their vote.
Catch is, therefore, starting a 'People of Bihar' series, which will daily capture what different impact groups across the state are feeling. This is true insight on the Bihar election: up-close and hyper-personal.
Poverty-stricken families in Bihar are often compelled to put their children to work at a young age. Ajeet Kumar Patel, 20, hails from one such family.
The Patels hail from the Lalganj area in the Vaishali district. The nearest big city is Hajipur, 20 kilometres away, while the state capital Patna is a further 20 kilometres away, across the Ganga.
Ajeet was working with a company in Surat, Gujarat, for the last five years.
Education was never a priority for the family - Ajeet has only studied still Class VII. His father is a mason in Kolkata, while his elder brother is a daily wage labourer in Mumbai. His mother is also a labourer, in Lalganj itself.
In the struggle to make ends meet, Ajeet has no time for politics. In fact, he represents thousands of voters who just do not have the time to keep track of all the information about elections, political parties and leaders.
Having left his previous job, his primary concern is to find a new one soon, in order to get back to earning approximately Rs 9,000 per month.
In the interim, he is back in Lalganj and plans to stay there over the Diwali-Chhath holidays period. And that's why he'll get a chance to vote in an assembly election for the first time.
Here's more from our conversation with him.
Have you decided who you'll vote for?
I'll vote for Nitish Kumar.
He has done some good work. Earlier, our village had no electricity. Now, it has power supply just like Delhi or Mumbai. He has improved roads. Money is distributed in schools for uniforms.
Do you know which other major leaders are in the fray?
Munna Shukla (MLA from Lalganj), Ram Vilas Paswan, and Nitish Kumar. I don't know who else is there.
Are there areas where Nitish has failed?
He must have... I do not have that much knowledge. I live outside the state for the most part. It is only a matter of coincidence that I will be voting this time.
"Nitish's good work is being discussed in Bihar as well as in Surat where I work," says Ajeet Patel
But you said know about Nitish's good work...
Yes, because people discuss it here as well as in Surat. I don't have much interest in politics.
You said you are going to vote for Nitish. Do you know which party he belongs to?
Yes, he is from the party with the arrow symbol.
Have you ever heard of Narendra Modi?
Yes, he is the Prime Minister. He belongs to the party with the lotus symbol.
Do you have any idea how he is working?
As I said, I do not watch the news. If any of my friends puts on the news in Surat, I start feeling sleepy.
All I know is that he makes a lot of foreign trips. If that's the case, he must be doing something.
Why do you have no interest in politics?
Politics is not going to give me dal-roti. Such things suit you only when your stomach is full. Therefore, I choose to retain knowledge about only those who can give me money.