For a Change

  • Abhishek Behl / FG
  • India
  • Mar 28, 2014



The Gurgaon Lok Sabha constituency (and therefore the election) is important because it tells which way the wind is blowing in South Haryana - as it covers large parts of the Yadav-dominated Ahirwal belt as well as the Muslim-dominated Mewat area. The Constituency is also being keenly watched as, over the last 5 years, Gurgaon has ‘blossomed’ even more. It today contributes to more than half of the revenue of the State and is clearly a Corporate, even Multinational (MNC), Hub. Adding to the ‘colour’, it has also become a major political battleground, with Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda and his erstwhile colleague and bete noire Rao Inderjit Singh fighting for supremacy in this Region (for now, and for the State later). The battle for Gurgaon has become even more interesting with the Aam Aadmi Party deciding to field a top leader and ideologue, Yogendra Yadav - who is also a ‘son of the soil’ hailing from Rewari. With the Election date fast approaching, the political air in the Gurgaon constituency is really hotting up, with all the candidates and their Parties carrying out rallies, roadshows and meetings. To know and understand what these politicians have in mind for the people of Gurgaon, and their plans for the City, Friday Gurgaon spoke to various candidates. We present the discussion with AAP candidate Yogendra Yadav, who says that the Lok Sabha polls in Haryana are a ‘base camp’ for the Party and the ultimate aim is to climb to the top of the State polls scheduled towards the end of the year.

Why is your party or leader the best for the country, and Gurgaon?

Arvind today represents hope in the country; we came in at a time when the Nation had lost any hope for national regeneration amidst so much corruption and lack of accountability. AAP, led by Kejriwal, is a symbol of probity and courage in public life, which today lacks honest people and where power has become the ultimate objective. In Gurgaon, which is a hub of political corruption, AAP promises to clean the Augean stables, and I as a candidate know the various issues and problems that need immediate resolution. We do not want to have a political agenda based on any religious or caste identity, which has invariably become the tool for other parties. We will also challenge the corrupt system that has been facilitated by both BJP and Congress the across the country - and Haryana in particular.

What would you do for Gurgaon as an MP? How do you plan to help resolve the various problems being faced by this ever-expanding City?



Gurgaon faces multiple issues - some can be raised in Parliament whereas others are Municipal in nature. The latter would need action at the local level, which is only possible if urban governance reforms take place. I will push for delegation of authority and the setting up of a single integrated agency - which not only will have the powers and responsibility but will also be accountable to the people. Today we have powerful bureaucratic agencies that feel they are answerable only to the Chief Minister. Gurgaon needs to be run from the city and not from Chandigarh, and by an agency that has an overarching vision of what the City needs. 


How do you plan to take on the builders’ lobby in Gurgaon? The control of builders is all-pervasive in the State, with no politician or government institution daring to take any action despite alleged large scale bungling?

High-level corruption with the involvement of politicians is the reason for this state of affairs in Gurgaon. This State govt is a government ‘of the builders, for the builders and by the builders’ - with no hope for the aam aadmi. The first challenge for us would be to take on the builder lobby, which appropriates land from the farmers with the help of the government and then sells it at a very high premium to the homebuyers. The buyers are also exploited, as they are not given what has been promised, infrastructure is not created, maintenance is negligible and everywhere it is the interests of builders that are uppermost. In such a scenario it will require great political will and support from the people to change the power equation, so that builders are made accountable and forced to follow the rules in letter and spirit.

What are your plans to tackle corruption at the higher level as well as the daily corruption that hits the common man?

We plan to have a strong Lok Pal at the State level, which will have the power to tackle corruption from the top to the bottom. The creation of this Institution is core to the AAP philosophy and we believe a strong Lok Pal will be able to check all corruption effectively. Another objective would be to set up a transparent system to award government contracts. The system of rewarding Party supporters and close friends with lucrative government contracts would be stopped, as it has become a permanent source of not only corruption but also poor quality work - as even monitoring is lax in such cases. Further, Gurgaon will witness a strict enforcement of the Haryana Apartment Owners Act, to ensure that homebuyers get what was promised in the Agreement and as per the Act. This will ensure that apartment buyers are not shortchanged by powerful builders. AAP also plans to introduce a Citizens’ Charter, which will fix a time frame for delivery of government services and help reduce any ‘discretionary’ powers.

What are the top three agendas in your Manifesto for Gurgaon?

Tackling corruption and ‘illegal’ land acquisition, and building infrastructure across the Constituency, would be our primary agendas. I believe that fair compensation for land should be ensured for the farmers, and wherever the acquired land has not been used for five years it should be returned. We have been fighting against forcible land acquisition in Haryana for long, and the time has come that the new land acquisition rules should be implemented in letter and spirit. The poor infrastructure across Gurgaon, including the City and rural areas, needs immediate attention and AAP would focus on it. In Mewat, educational infrastructure would be given a boost, roads will be built to connect important towns and water scarcity would be resolved. In Gurgaon too there is a need for massive upgradation of infrastructure - in terms of roads, power and water.


How do you plan to integrate urban and rural Gurgaon?

This is a major challenge for us but we will provide a vision to integrate the vast rural hinterland with urban Gurgaon. The rural areas should be seen as an opportunity as they are a source of raw material as well as labour. More importantly, AAP would focus on giving preferential treatment to locals in industry and the corporate sector - which is not happening till now. We will also try to ensure that urban Gurgaon could act as a training ground for rural youth, who can learn technical and soft skills required for getting a good job. Efforts will also be made to boost small scale manufacturing, particularly as vendors to large units.

What is your vision to safeguard the environment, and for greenery, in the City?

The decision of the State to push for tourism in the Aravallis is a disaster and we will oppose it tooth and nail. The ground water situation is already bad in the City and it would take no more than 10 years to make Gurgaon dry. Unless the Aravallis are saved and traditional ponds and lakes in the area revived, we could face immense problems. I will push for rain water harvesting, wise usage of water and recycling.

Why should women and youth vote for you?

Women, more than men, prefer clean politics and AAP stands for their empowerment. The safety of women is a major issue in Gurgaon and we would work hard to ensure that they feel safer on the streets and in offices and malls. Most importantly, it is only AAP that is taking up the issue of the rampant scaling up of liquor vends across the City, which makes the environs insecure. We will ensure that such vends are not opened in green belts, and in other areas the consent from locals will be taken. The youth should vote for us because we are a young party that understands their issues and problems, and has been powered by them.

What makes you a proud Gurgaonite?

I was born here and I am naturally fond of this place. But more than that, Gurgaon represents the natural microcosm that is India. It represents the diversity of India. While there are people from all parts of India, it has strong local, rural roots. It is this diversity in motion that makes me feel very proud of being a citizen of Gurgaon.


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