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Three Yadavs, a Meo to fight it out in Gurgaon
Gurgaon: It will be an almost all-Yadav affair in the Gurgaon Lok Sabha constituency in Haryana, that borders Delhi to the south, where the towering corporate and residential towers that are islands of the affluent exist side by side with rural and primitive enclaves that have remained unchanged for decades.
The candidates from the Congress, the BJP and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) are all Yadavs though their caste may or may not have been the reason they were picked for the constituency adjoining Delhi.
The Congress has named three-time legislator Rao Dharampal (a Yadav). Ajay Singh Yadav, a six-time legislator from Rewari and at present a cabinet colleague of Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda, had wanted the seat for his son, Chiranjiv Rao.
Outgoing MP Rao Inderjeet Singh, also a Yadav, recently joined the Bharatiya Janata Party after serving the Congress for more than three-and-a-half decades.
Political scientist and AAP ideologue Yogender Yadav was the first among the four main candidates to start his election campaign in Gurgaon.
The Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) has fielded Zakir Hussain, a Meo, as a Muslim in this region is known.
All the four heavyweight candidates will seek to woo the nearly 180,000 voters of Gurgaon for the April 10 ballot.
Gurgaon voters are spread over nine assembly segments. Gurgaon and Badshahpur segments have the highest number of nearly 600,000 votes.
Other assembly seats in the constituency include Pataudi, Rewari, Bawal, Sohna, Ferozepur Jhirka, Punhana and Nuh.
The Gurgaon Lok Sabha seat is Ahir-dominated (Yadav and Rao), with more than 500,000 voters. Meos make up nearly 450,000 voters.
The INLD hopes to rope in the Meo votes along with the constituency’s nearly 150,000 Jat voters besides others, said its spokesman R.S. Dahiya. The INLD has traditionally relied on Jat support.
The BJP feels that Rao Inderjeet Singh is bound to gather immense support as he has always raised his voice in favour of southern Haryana.
Besides, it feels the appeal of its prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi will sway the voters.
The AAP, however, thinks that it will be the biggest beneficiary of voter disenchantment with the political class.
“We are fighting for the rights of aam aadmi (common people and against corruption,” AAP activist Om Prakash Yadav told IANS.
“The Congress and the BJP are two faces of the same coin. People all over Gurgaon are supporting us from the bottom of their hearts,” he added.
Yogender Yadav, known as a confidant of AAP leader and former Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal, hails from Saharanwas village in Haryana’s Rewari district. Yadav has been building up support among all sections of voters in Gurgaon, including young professionals who work and live here. He has been going to villages in the constituency for weeks.
The AAP is also banking on what it feels is mass disenchantment vis-a-vis corruption charges plaguing the Hooda government and the image of the Kejriwal-led party as a fighter against corruption.
The Congress is equally confident about Rao Dharampal’s victory. “We are prepared and will win with the help of traditional Congress votes and personnel relations with people,” a Congress leader said.
“We will fight the election on the strength of development work done by the Hooda government in the last 10 years,” he added.