Battleground Gurgaon

  • Abhishek Behl / FG
  • India
  • Feb 22, 2014

The politics for the ensuing Lok Sabha polls is hotting up in Gurgaon, with the current MP, Rao Inderjit Singh, joining the BJP while the AAP (Party), which captured the imagination of Delhi, has announced the candidature of Yogender Yadav, a local Ahir who has the ability to cause an upset. The Congress, which has lost a powerful face in South Haryana, might possibly give the ticket to a Mev candidate from Mewat, as this constituency has a large number of Muslim voters. However, the decision of INLD to field Iliyas Hussain, say political watchers, is likely to divide the votes of the Mevs. It is an astute political move by the Chautalas who are in favour of aligning with Rao Inderjit and the BJP. It is strongly being speculated that there could be seat sharing between the BJP and INLD, in which the National party might get a larger share. However, the BJP’s alliance with the Haryana Janhit Congress is proving to be an obstacle in this tie-up, as Kuldip Bishnoi of HAJKA is also demanding his share.

How the BJP manages its alliances in Haryana could be the key to its victory in this agrarian State. The Congress, despite facing anti-incumbency, can still not be regarded as a spent force, because Chief Minister Hooda, in his fiefdoms of Rohtak, Sonipat and Bahadurgarh, is likely to make a home run. However, his neglect of South Haryana, and the allegations of widespread corruption and nefarious land deals, has left many frustrated and angry. The interesting thing is that neither the CM nor his colleagues have even tried to contest these allegations, leading to the public perception that there is complicity of the Party leadership - both at the Centre and in the State - in this scam-laden governance. It was because of the intransigence of the State Party leadership that Rao Inderjit, a Congress veteran, had to leave the Party that he had served for more than 35 years. The Gurgaon MP told Friday Gurgaon that his decision to join the BJP had come after a long process of raising his voice against the discrimination with South Haryana, for almost three years. Severing his ties completely with his erstwhile Party, Rao Inderjit declared in the presence of a large number of supporters that he will spend the rest of his life under the shadow of the Lotus, the BJP symbol. There is tacit acceptance in the Bharatiya Janata Party in Haryana, and particularly Gurgaon, that the entry of rebel Gurgaon MP Rao Inderjit Singh to the Party has strengthened it in South Haryana and also given it a leader of national stature. Even BJP President Rajnath Singh, obviously impressed by the show of strength by Rao's supporters on February 13 when he formally joined the Party, accepted that Rao’s entry would greatly add to the Party’s firepower. At the BJP office in Delhi, the Gurgaon MP reiterated his resolve to fight against corruption, nepotism and lack of development in the State of Haryana. He also said that the Haryana Insaaf Manch (a body set up with his blessings)) would also work with the BJP to ensure the victory of the Party in the National, and later the State, polls. In fact Rao's supporters are targeting Chandigarh (CMship) in the ensuing State polls, by channelising the voters of South Haryana - who are expected to vote this time on the issues of discrimination, forced acquisition of land and massive corruption. It is a fact that there are few BJP leaders in Haryana who can match the stature of the Rao Inderjit. Ultimately the Gurgaon election is likely to be decided by the Yadav and Mev votes. In the wake of a Narendra Modi wave, and with 2 strong Yadav candidates already in the fray, the Congress might try to play up the secular card and go for a Mev candidate. 






The victory of the Aam Aadmi Party in Delhi, its formation of a government and its eventual exit for a cause, marks the beginning of new-age politics in India - which will ultimately change the way our governments work. Further, the politics of AAP has also been facilitated by an active media, which has enabled new parties to more easily reach out to people, believes AAP National Spokesperson Nisha Singh (who is also a Councillor in Gurgaon). Singh, who has been associated with AAP since its inception, says that the victory in Delhi has also ensured that the Party can offer a viable option to the people across the country - including Haryana. With AAP stalwarts like Kejriwal and Yogender Yadav hailing from Haryana, Nisha Singh says that the decision to fight the Lok Sabha, and later the State, polls across the Nation is a natural progression for the Party. AAP is also getting the maximum number of volunteers from Haryana, and even Gurgaon has been a rich hunting ground for the Party - with corporates supporting the Party with volunteers and funds. The AAP Spokesperson says that this State has seen the maximum corruption, with land becoming a goldmine for the politicians and their henchmen. Further, the powers of the Chief Minister and his principal secretaries have become absolute, with virtually no delegation of authority. This has led to a situation whereby every decision pertaining to even Gurgaon, a key City of the State, needs a nod from Chandigarh…and that seldom comes. In such a scenario, Singh's Party offers hope - with the Janlokpal Bill and the concept of Swaraj. These would ensure transparency and decentralization – the delegation of powers for issues that can be handled locally. With the AAP government’s functioning being scrutinised in detail, it is likely that this trend will soon apply to every new government, and this would be great for Indian democracy. “We are a movement…to drive politics to clean itself. While we have strong inner Party democracy, the recent experiences in Delhi tell us that realpolitik can be a totally different ballgame,” says Singh, while referring to the unexpected support from Congress and the decisions and statements made by AAP MLA Binny (who was later expelled from the Party). AAP in Gurgaon will raise issues like corruption, land scams and the lack of decentralization of power. Another political issue that will be raised by the Party is the rise of crony capitalism in the State, aided and abetted by bureaucrats and politicians. There are unnatural gains for certain influential people, whereas the common man cannot even think of buying a home in Gurgaon. “Gurgaon produces the maximum revenue but has to run on ‘auto mode’. There is great anger among the people, as the basic infrastructure is in bad shape and there is no planning”, says Singh. The AAP (Party) is particularly enthused by Haryana, as whatever happens in Delhi greatly influences the people of the State – and specially those in the NCR.


Gurgaon-based young BJP leader Kamal Yadav, who is also a member of the Party's State Executive, says that, “The BJP workers are enthused by Rao Inderjit's entry because he has a strong base in South Haryana, and is a popular leader with a clean image. He will not only strengthen the Party but could also ensure that the BJP's goal, of becoming the Party with the maximum MPs in Haryana, is materialised. Ultimately, he says, that the goal of the Party is to ensure that Narendra Modi comes to power with an absolute majority; and to reach that objective, if the Party takes certain decisions then these will be willingly accepted." The BJP had at least two strong contenders for the Gurgaon Lok Sabha ticket - former MP Sudha Yadav and Party Vice President Rao Narvir Singh. Yadav adds that even more important than the candidates, it will be the agenda of the Party that will decided the future course of action. “The Congress government is working in tandem with the Real Estate lobby, and this whole nexus will be investigated once the BJP comes to power at the Centre and in Haryana. We are going to support the farmers in Gurgaon whose land was taken away for setting up the Reliance SEZ, and now it is being converted into a Global City - which again is a sham”, says Yadav. “We are asking the people to vote keeping in mind that Narendra Modi should become the next Prime Minister, so that we can change not only the government but also the system” asserts Yadav. When asked whether he would like to fight the forthcoming Assembly polls, Yadav says that if the Party gives him the mandate, he will like to contest from Badshahpur constituency. υ

INLD held a meeting of its Election Committee, in which names of prospective candidates were discussed. Senior INLD leaders - including Ranbir Singh Prajapati, newly-elected MP Ram Kumar Kashyap, former Deputy Speaker Gopi Chand Gehlot, National General Secretary R S Choudhary and local leaders from Gurgaon and Mewat - participated in the detailed discussions. On this occasion, Party officials and workers from across Gurgaon, Sohna, Pataudi, Sohna, Nuh, Bawal, Rewari and Firozpur Jhirka made the Party leaders aware about the key issues in this parliamentary constituency. The leaders who are considered to be prime contenders for this Constituency are Zakir Hussain, Mohd Iliyas and Jagdish Yadav - all of whom are former Legislators. υ



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