Warming Up for the State Match

  • Abhishek Behl / FG
  • India
  • Jun 20, 2014



While the Modi wave played an important role in the success of the BJP for the Gurgaon Lok Sabha seat, apart from the personal following of Gurgaon MP Rao Inderjit Singh, the ensuing Vidhan Sabha polls will test the electoral strategy of every party at the hustings - including the winners in the national election. While BJP emerged as a clear winner from the Gurgaon Assembly constituency, getting a lead of more than one lakh votes, an analysis of how various people polled shows that even the Aam Aadmi Party and the Congress would be important players in Gurgaon - provided these parties give tickets to the right candidates, taking into account local factors and community considerations. Local non-BJP politicians assert that the Modi wave would not be as strong in the ensuing State polls, and they would be able to fight the BJP on a more even keel. 

The local populace wants action on many fronts: the regularisation of illegal colonies, the resolution of the 900 metres disputed area around the Ammunition Depot, more development work in the various ‘urban’ villages, extension of the Metro to ‘old’ Gurgaon, and the supply of adequate and uninterrupted water and power. An analysis of the voting pattern in the recently held Lok Sabha polls shows that AAP candidate Yogendra Yadav won many votes from ‘new’ Gurgaon and other urban areas. In fact, apart from the BJP, AAP is the only other party that managed to get votes from a majority of the polling booths. Only in unauthorised colonies is BJP likely to hold sway. The Congress is likely to face strong anti-incumbency in the State also, and this is also visible in the voting of the Punjabi dominated areas like Mianwali Colony, where BJP managed to get almost 75% per cent of the total votes polled. In Ashok Vihar, an unauthorised colony, BJP candidate Rao Inderjit Singh got 3,179 votes out of the 5,621 votes polled in different booths. The anger against Congress was palpable, as Rao Dharmpal, the sitting MLA, managed to get only 254 votes. In comparison, the AAP got 660 votes, a respectable number of for a new entrant. Residents of Ashok Vihar say that a large number of youth voted for Yogendra Yadav, as they saw a ray of hope against corruption. INLD was not able to get its loyal voters to support Zakir Hussain, as experts opine that this election had clearly been polarised on communal lines. It is felt that since the Mewatis had ‘decided’ to vote en masse for the INLD candidate, the large Yadav population in Gurgaon, motivated by the Modi wave, managed to get many people in the Hindu community strongly behind Rao Inderjit. However, it would be wrong to define this election as completely polarized, as perhaps for the first time people in the country, including Gurgaon, voted for a political personality, going beyond their caste and community factors. In Rajiv Nagar, another unauthorized colony, the BJP led the pack with 65% of the votes. Rohit Jangid, a resident, said that though the people voted for BJP in the national polls, the fight would be tough in the Vidhan Sabha polls, as local people, local issues, and local affiliations will play a far more important role. "We will only vote for that candidate who will provide us water, power and other amenities," asserted another resident. The presence of a large young population and many first time voters will continue to give hope to the Aam Aadmi Party. Mahesh Sharma, a resident of Sector 14, said that this Lok Sabha poll was special, as people voted for none other than Modi, and also Congress was facing strong anti-incumbency. In Sector 14 there are many problems like water logging, lack of parking, and water and power supply woes, which did not come to the fore during the Lok Sabha polls. However, Sharma said that the issues of governance, poor performance by civic agencies and corruption in government administration would come to the fore in the Assembly polls. An earlier AAP supporter said that though he is disillusioned with the Party’s recent functioning, if an honest candidate with a clean image and no past baggage comes to fight in the Assembly election, he would still vote for AAP. Surprisingly, Chakkarpur Village and its vicinity, which has produced a number of second rung BJP leaders and also has followers of Rao Inderjit Singh, did not vote for Modi as enthusiastically as was expected. Out of the 6,450 votes polled in Chakkarpur and the adjoining booths, the BJP managed to get just a little more than half of the vote share – compared to almost 70% in a majority of the booths in Gurgaon. In fact this issue has also been taken up in the internal party meetings, and sources say that a report on the lack of interest shown by local leaders, and some differences over the entry of Rao Inderjit, was also responsible for this ‘poor’ show. The Aam Aadmi Party managed to get 1,190 votes in an urbanised village where a majority of people are locals; this seems to show the strong local support for Yogendra Yadav, who might have also got votes because of his Ahir community connection. Manish Yadav, a youth leader, said that the better than expected performance by AAP in Chakkarpur does not augur well for the BJP, as continuing infighting and conflict could hit the Party hard in the ensuing Assembly polls. Political insiders say that there are a number of local leaders who are still unhappy, as their political future has been impacted by the entry of Rao Inderjit. Rao Narbir Singh, former MLA, Sudha Yadhav, former MP, Umesh Aggarwal, BJP leader and several others have allegedly not been able to digest the entry of Rao Inderjit Singh, who now has also expressed a strong desire to be projected as the Party candidate for the Haryana CM post. If this becomes a reality, then it is likely that Rao loyalists from across South Haryana would be strengthened and even get Party tickets.  GL Sharma, a close confidante of Union Minister Rao Inderjit Singh and a strong contender for the BJP ticket locally, said that if AAP fights the election in Haryana it would add an interesting flavor, particularly in Gurgaon, as it has secured good votes in this Assembly constituency. He however asserted that BJP under the leadership of Modi has become an unbeatable force, and if the Party is able to project a strong local leader like Rao Inderjit Singh from South Haryana as the Party's CM candidate, then no doubt BJP would win in a large number of constituencies.

Even in the posh DLF area the BJP managed to dominate, but AAP was able to secure a good number of votes. In the different booths of DLF (Phase I to Phase V), 9,388 votes were polled – for a change the people in this area came out to vote in large numbers. Yogendra Yadav got 2,085 votes (22%).





Sending a strong message and putting a show of strength on the occasion of Hindu Samrajya Sthapna Divas, BJP leader GL Sharma exhorted the people of Gurgaon and South Haryana to unite in the fight against corruption and the scam-ridden government of the Congress led by Hooda, if they want an end to the discrimination in employment and development, and to the land scams in the State. Sharma, addressing a well attended function organised by the Youth Club, Gurgaon, said, “If we want to get justice for Gurgaon, it is essential that BJP comes to power in Haryana.” He thanked the people of Gurgaon for making the Hindu Divas samaroh successful, despite a last minute heavy downpour. He asserted that it was for the first time that the BJP has got a strong response even in its ‘weaker’ areas. “We have got votes from all over – ‘old’ Gurgaon, ‘new’ Gurgaon and even in the strongholds of INLD.  The times are changing,” said Sharma. The Chief Guest on this occasion was Union Minister Rao Inderjit Singh, who thanked the workers, supporters and activists of BJP. “Our agenda is to bring about equal development in the State (across districts), and ensure transparency and accountability in governance. We would be answerable to the public,” stated Rao Inderjit. He added that though people from Mewat had not voted in numbers for him, he would ensure that adequate development takes place in that area as well. The problem of the SYL Canal, which has remained pending for the last several years, would be taken up on priority, and ‘land deals’ that have become rampant in Haryana, would be reviewed, he said amid much applause. The head of the Gurgaon Youth Club assured the BJP leadership that the youth in the region would work towards bringing the Party to power. They also asked the Party to announce the candidature of Rao Inderjit Singh as the future Chief Minister of the State.


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