Keenly watched fight in Millennium City

Despite Gurgaon's prosperity, the city struggles with inadequate civic infrastructure, particularly evident during the monsoon season.
Gurugram attracts 70% of Haryana’s total investments and is home to over 250 ‘Fortune 500’ companies.
Gurugram attracts 70% of Haryana’s total investments and is home to over 250 ‘Fortune 500’ companies.

NEW DELHI: The Gurgaon Lok Sabha constituency, comprising one of Asia’s largest IT and corporate hubs along with a religiously diverse Nuh, is the largest constituency in Haryana.

Gurugram attracts 70% of Haryana’s total investments and is home to over 250 ‘Fortune 500’ companies.

It also stands out as a prime centre for manufacturing automobiles, electronic components, chemicals, and FMCG products, showcasing its economic dynamism. However, despite its prosperity, the city struggles with inadequate civic infrastructure, particularly evident during the monsoon season.

In 2016, Gurugram experienced the infamous “Gurujam,” a massive traffic jam on the Delhi-Gurgaon Expressway where commuters were stranded for nearly two days due to 52mm of rainfall in a single day, which flooded major roads and homes.

Although such an incident has not occurred again in the past seven years, residents feel there has been little improvement.

Persistent waterlogging, poor drainage systems, and severe traffic congestion remain significant issues. Running for a third term as the BJP’s Lok Sabha candidate, Rao Inderjit Singh, who left the Congress before the 2014 elections due to disagreements with former Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda, is campaigning on a development platform.

Singh has highlighted improvements in road and transport infrastructure, including the construction of the Delhi-Mumbai Expressway and the Dwarka Expressway, the foundation laying of AIIMS Rewari, and the achievements of the Narendra Modi government at his rallies.

Facing him is Congress’s Raj Babbar, an actor-turned-politician, who brings his own set of challenges. Singh, currently a Union Minister of State, has framed the election as a contest between a local candidate and an outsider.

Babbar has countered the “outsider” label in his speeches, focusing his campaign on local issues such as water scarcity, inadequate waste management, high toll taxes, and traffic congestion. He has pledged to improve schools, roads, and law enforcement. In a recent public meeting, Babbar stated, “He (Rao Inderjit Singh) is seeking votes to make Narendra Modi the Prime Minister again, but I want you to elect me to work for you.”

He has criticized Singh for his “political opportunism” and lack of accessibility, dubbing him a “mausam vaigyanik (weatherman)” and “raja sahab (king).”

The Congress has chosen Babbar, a Punjabi, over local heavyweight and six-time MLA Captain Ajay Yadav, aiming to consolidate non-Yadav voters and attract support from the Jat and Meo Muslim communities. However, this decision has caused unrest within the local party unit. Captain Yadav publicly expressed his dissatisfaction on social media, alleging a “deep-rooted conspiracy” behind the decision.

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