CHANDIGARH: In Haryana's Faridabad, which is witnessing a tight fight between three political stalwarts, it is the Jat and the non-Jat votes that will decide the fate of the winning candidate this Lok Sabha election.
It is the clash of the old rivals once again, where Krishan Pal Gurjar of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is contesting against four-time MP Avtar Singh Bhadana of the Congress. The 61-year-old Union Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment and sitting MP, Krishan Pal Gurjar, who won last year owing to the Modi wave is facing anti-incumbency for allegedly encouraging illegal mining and illegal plying of buses in his constituency.
He has been facing flack for traffic congestions, unhygienic conditions and poor civic amenities, prevailing in his constituency. Gurjar won the 2014 elections by a record margin of 4.66 lakh votes defeating Congress' Avtar Singh Bhadana.
As both Krishan and Avtar are from the Gujjar community, which could possibly split the votes, the sitting MP is seeking votes based on Prime Minister Narendra Modi's achievements.
Bhadana, who in 2016 left the Congress and joined BJP only to join Congress this year had won the 1991, 2004, 2009 elections from Faridabad and 1999 from Meerut in UP. The Faridabad constituency has a mix of Jats (3.10 lakh), Gujjars (2.95 lakh), Brahmins (2lakh) and 4 lakh SC voters besides sizeable Muslim (2 lakh), Punjabi (1.15 lakh), Rajput (1.10 lakh) and slum migrant voters.
Eyeing the Jat voters, both INLD and BSP-LSP alliance have placed their bets on Jat candidates. The BSP-LSP has fielded Mandhir Singh Maan and the INLD has declared Mahender Singh Chauhan as its candidate. Banking on the Brahmin votes, the AAP-JJPalliance has fielded Naveen Jaihind, a Brahmin and the Haryana chief of AAP.