Polling Day Report

  • Abhishek Behl / FG
  • India
  • Apr 18, 2014




The all-time high polling percentage in Gurgaon has confounded most of the political pundits, who were surprised by the increased participation of the urban voters. While Mewat and rural areas of Rewari are known to vote in large numbers, the City voters have rarely shown this kind of enthusiasm. Political experts say that this shift marks the awakening of the middle class, the youth and the residents of ‘new’ Gurgaon, who have realised that living on the sidelines of the City’s (and Country’s) politics is not going to help their cause - both administratively, and socially. This also is the reason for the increased engagement of the corporates with the District Administration. Sumit, a resident of Sector 15, tells Friday Gurgaon that he decided to postpone his official tour, to exercise his vote for the ‘right’ candidate. “I did not participate in any election in the last 5 years, and came to realise that there was no politician to whom our Colony could go and tell their woes. Even the Councillor would not listen to us because we were seen as a disparate group that did not really matter to him,” he says. Another resident says that when his friends and he went to meet the local MLA a year back, he asked them whether they had enlisted as voters - and from where. It was then that they decided to get registered and to participate in the polling process. Likewise, Ramesh Kumar, a resident of DLF Phase III, tells Friday Gurgaon that people had come out in large numbers to boost the prospects of the Aam Aadmi Party, which has promised to take on the builder lobby. Kumar says that they were impressed by the detailed Manifesto of the AAP, and want Yogendra Yadav to win. However, it was Modi and his ‘magic’ that was working on a large number of business families, and well-to-do Delhi migrants. A large number of residents in Palam Vihar and the adjoining HUDA sectors seem to have accepted Modi as the next Prime Minister of the country, and thronged the BJP polling agents’ tables on Election Day. Pollsters say that it was the combination of the AAP effect, the Modi wave and efforts made by Voting Tau, which ensured a record voting at the polling stations on April 10th. The entire City as well as the rural areas bore a deserted look, as all the markets and offices remained firmly closed.

In fact the Gurgaon Lok Sabha seat saw the maximum jump in turnout across the 10 seats in Haryana. Compared to the last election, the Gurgaon Parliamentary constituency saw an 11.02 per cent increase; and the biggest surprise was that the Gurgaon Assembly area saw a jump of 15.18 per cent. Deputy Commissioner, Shekhar Vidyarthi, informs that the Gurgaon LS seat recorded 73.19% polling, with a break-up as follows: Rewari 70.06%, Pataudi 73.22%, Badshahpur 68.55%, Gurgaon 66.97%, Sohna 75.88%, Nuh 77.81%, Ferozepur Jhirka 76.20% and Punhana 74.49%. Political analysts say that this high turnout had made the political battle quite interesting, as people have voted with strong fervor – perhaps looking for change. The INLD voters were split between their liking for Modi and their loyalty for Chautala - who had asked them to support Zakir Hussain, a Muslim candidate from Mewat. In the unauthorised colonies of Gurgaon, particularly the 900 meters disputed area, the residents said they would vote for the Party that had promised a resolution of their problems. The people from UP and Bihar favour the BJP - they are angry with the decision of the State government to keep 40 lakhs migrants out of the purview of the free government health services. Interestingly, the Punjabi community, which has traditionally voted for the Congress, seems to have switched to the BJP. In a majority of the Punjabi-dominated areas, the BJP flags could be seen flying high. The INLD did not see much support in the urban parts of Gurgaon, as it is traditionally identified with the farmers. Mangat Ram Bagri, Councillor from Laxman Vihar, says that the people this time have decided to give a chance to Modi, and have kept their local loyalties aside for now. Amar Arora, a resident of New Colony, opines that they had given enough time to the Congress - both in the Centre and the State - and now want a change in politics. While a large number of people supported the cause taken up by AAP, they were not ready to cast their vote in favour of Yogendra Yadav - saying that the Party needed time to stabilise before it could make a mark in national politics. The AAP supporters claimed that their goal was to ensure that their Party could achieve the goal of becoming a National party. An AAP supporter accepted that the Party had failed to anticipate the public angst over their decision to resign. “We did not realise that it could be such a big mistake, and now we are paying the price. The decision to fight a large number of seats has also weakened us.”

The rural areas of Rewari, Bawal and Badshahpur preferred to support candidates on the basis of traditional caste and community lines. It is believed that the BJP candidate, Rao Inderjit, who is also the erstwhile scion of Rewari principality, got overwhelming support from the Yadavs. A large number of ex-servicemen and villagers also seemed to have been swept away by the Modi wave. However, the INLD, which has strong pockets of influence in Bawal and some parts of Rewari, managed to garner votes for Zakir Hussain. For the Yadavs, who see Gurgaon as their pocket borough, it is anathema that a Mev candidate should win from this constituency – which has perhaps led to a polarisation of the votes. AAP candidate Yogendra Yadav, who was expected to elicit strong response in Rewari, seems to have failed to recreate the Kejriwal magic in his home district - as this rural area seems to have voted for Rao Inderjit in strong numbers. Congress candidate Rao Dharampal, who was always seen as a reluctant challenger to the BJP, will get the traditional votes but has been hit by the anti-incumbency factor. BSP candidate Dharampal Rathi is expected to create some ripples, as it is expected that the BSP vote bank would have remained intact. The Gujjars, who have 1.3 lakhs votes in this Constituency, have voted primarily for Rathi. The Badshahpur Assembly segment saw more than 2 lakhs votes being polled. Rao Dharampal, who is the MLA from this segment, is expected to get almost 20 per cent of the votes. 

One candidate who cannot be taken lightly is Zakir Hussain of the INLD. Relaying primarily on the Mev votes in Mewat, which number almost 3.5 lakhs, Zakir is said to have polled almost 80 per cent of the votes in this huge backward area of Haryana. So strong was the wind in favour of the INLD candidate, that certain polling stations in this Constituency witnessed an almost 100 per cent voting in his favour. There were also incidents of alleged communal violence in Punhana. Yogendra Yadav of AAP, who was expected to make a strong showing in this Mev dominated area, failed to cut much ice, as Zakir Hussain was seen as someone who could defeat Rao Inderjit Singh of the BJP. The Mevs were also hopeful that the Yadavs of Gurgaon would vote on divided lines, owing to the presence of strong Yadav candidates from both the Congress and AAP. Whether their strategy worked will be known after May 16, but punters across Haryana seem to be predicting the victory of the BJP in Gurgaon. So strong is the post-voting mood in favour of the BJP, that Rao Inderjit is supposedly carrying a rate of 20 paisa - against 80 paisa for Zakir Hussain of INLD.


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