GURUGRAM: BJP MP Rao Inderjit Singh is facing a stiff challenge from Congress candidate Captain Ajay Singh Yadav in Haryana's Gurugram Lok Sabha constituency, where 27 candidates are in the fray. Both are Yadavs from Rewari, which may lead to a division of votes in the district.
Rao Inderjit Singh is the second son of former Haryana Chief Minister Rao Birender Singh. His elder brother Rao Ajit Singh is an Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) member while the younger one Rao Yajuvendra Singh is a former Congress MLA from Kosli.
The Gurugram constituency comprises Gurugram, Rewari and Nuh districts which have 10,82,870, 64,62,39 and 53,109 voters respectively.
"With two brothers in opposition camps, Inderjeet's road to victory is not easy, especially in Rewari. Recently, Yajuvendra's son Rao Arjun Singh attended Yadav's rally in Rewari and announced his support to him. Such acts by Inderjeet's relatives will hurt him on the poll day," said political expert Pawan Sachdeva.
Recently, residents of 72 villagers in Manesar area of Gurugram threatened to boycott the elections. A visit to Bolni village, which Inderjeet Singh adopted under the PM's flagship scheme, explains why.
"It has been four-and-a-half years since our village was adopted but we still don't have basic amenities like piped drinking water and sewage lines. We get electricity only for two to three hours. The state government opened an Atal Sewa Kendra (citizen facilitation centre) in two buildings but it is always locked," said Jitu Yadav, a local.
In Mewat area of the constituency, it was the promise of a connecting rail route and a water canal to Haryana's most backward district Nuh that got Rao Inderjit Singh the minority community votes in the 2014 elections.
But ignoring the promise, the Haryana and the Central governments recently proposed a plan to connect Asawati railway station in Palwal with Rewari via Manesar, Sohna and Ballabhgarh without touching any part of Nuh.
The Mewat region, which spreads across Alwar, Bharatpur, Palwal and some parts of Gurugram and Faridabad, is also the area where several mob lynching victims -- Pehlu Khan (Bahror), Rakbar Khan (Alwar), Junaid (Asawati) -- hailed from.
The tragedies are likely to resonate during the elections.
"This region has witnessed a poll percentage of 80-84 per cent. A higher poll percentage is expected this year, and since 80 per cent per cent of the voters are Muslims, they are not likely to go for the BJP," said Rajudin Khan, a political expert in Ferojpur Jhirka.
He added that the two Muslim candidates of the Jannayak Janata Party (JJP) and the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) do not have a vote bank big enough to hurt the Congress. "People vote for candidates or parties with winning potential. No one wants their vote to go in vain," said Khan.
Gurugram district has a mix of rural and urban voters. And because the local leaders only care about permanent residents, migrants to the city's urban and industrial villages may also turn the tables.
"The BJP government made promises but failed to implement a single one on the ground. Besides demonetisation, implementation of the GST, inflation, unemployment and a hike in electricity bills badly hurt common people over the past five years," said Yadav.
However, Inderjeet Singh brushed aside all reports of anti-incumbency.
"Our government has completed many infrastructural projects including four underpasses at Rajiv Chowk, Signature Chowk, Iffco Chowk and Hero Honda Chowk in Gurugram. We also got clearances for the much delayed Dwarka Expressway and KMP Expressway. There is no anti-incumbency against me or my party. We will give an impressive show on polling day," he said.