Two independent candidates in Haryana’s New Industrial Township (NIT) of Faridabad are family when they are not ‘fighting elections’. The 25-year-old grandson is against his 80-year-old grandfather in the state assembly elections on October 15.
While Anoop Sharma, the young one, has flute for his poll symbol, the octogenarian, Shiv Charan Sharma, has a whistle to his name. Shiv Charan is the granddaddy, literally, in the contest among 16 candidates, including Naginder Bhadana of INLD, Gulshan Bagga of Congress and BJP’s Yashbir Daggar.
He is sitting MLA and also minister of state in the Hooda government. He won 2009 election as an independent, defeating Congress heavyweight AC Chaudhary.
Sharma took advantage of fractured mandate and supported Congress against ministerial berth and continues to be in power since then. This time, CM Hooda offered him Congress ticket to contest from NIT seat, which he refused saying he was again interested to contest as an independent.
Observers believe he cleverly refused Congress ticket to switch over to any other party (if he won) in case Congress lost and to stay in power for another five years.
Sharma’s position is strong given the fact he did lot of work for NIT assembly segment during the last five years. He invited Hooda to this constituency many times.
But he is fighting a tough battle with INLD’s Naginder Bhadana, who has carved a niche in the constituency by providing drinking water through tankers free of cost.
The voters poke fun at the grandfather for his election symbol — a whistle — and his 25-year-old grandson seeking votes for Flute. “80 saal ka budha seete baja raha hai, aur 25 sal ka pota bansuri,” one summed up.