While the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is striving to return to power at the Centre, it could not be that easy for it in Haryana as majority of poll promises, say political pundits, have not been kept in the state.
The voters of the Gurugram parliamentary constituency, which borders the national capital, express similar sentiments. The constituency is spread across three districts of Gurugram, Rewari and Nuh, with 23 lakh eligible voters.
This may allow the opposition Congress regain the political ground it lost in the 2014 elections.
“The Gurugram constituency, spread across three districts, could be a good example of this, where the minority-dominant Nuh district in the Mewat region tells a tale of neglect by the government,” said Captain Ajay Singh Yadav of the Congress, former Power Minister and seven-time MLA from Rewari district.
“During 2014 election, BJP candidate and present Union Minister of State Rao Inderjit Singh had garnered votes of the minority community by making a tall promise of a rail link and canal to Haryana’s most backward state Mewat (Nuh). But the Manohar Lal Khattar-led state government and BJP’s central leadership recently proposed a plan to connect Asawati railway station in Palwal with Rewari via Manesar, Sohna and Ballabhgarh skirting the Nuh district,” he said.
“The reason of this was the presence of the Muslim community, which they consider not their vote bank. The water crisis continues in Mewat with 70 per cent of villagers of sub-town Punhana, Ferojpur Jhirka, Hodal and even Nuh going without easy access to drinking water,” the Congress leader said.
Southern Haryana’s districts of Gurugram and Rewari fall in the Ahirwal belt. Both Rao Inderjit Singh and Yadav, belong to the same community, and may contest against each other on the BJP and the Congress tickets, respectively.
Captain Yadav recently organised an impressive show in Pataudi with over one lakh people turning out to listen to him. The region is considered stronghold of Singh.
“Such a large turnout indicates anti-incumbency for the ruling party. Also, demonetisation, implementation of GST, price rise of commodities, unemployment and hike in electricity bills are some of the policies that hurt the common people in the last 5 years,” Yadav said.
When contacted, Singh said: “Our government has completed many infrastructure projects such as three under-passes in Gurugram at Rajiv Chowk, Signature Chowk and Hero Honda Chowk. Besides, removing hurdles in the way of Dwarka expressway and KMP expressway are also our achievements.
“There is no anti-incumbency factor here. We will make an impressive show on May 12, the poll day,” he said.
Meanwhile, relations between other parties like the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and the Dushyant Chautala-led Jannayak Janta Party (JJP), which are in seat-sharing talks, are not so smooth in the southern districts of Haryana. And that may also reflect in the voter turnout as well as the poll outcome.