Since 2000, incumbent Congress legislator Rao Daan Singh has thrice beaten state Bharatiya Janata Party president Ram Bilas Sharma from Mahendergarh assembly constituency. Sharma had represented this constituency four times in 1982, 1987, 1991 and 1996 and the party’s superlative performance in the recent Lok Sabha polls has raised his stake in the uncertainty-ridden state politics.
Besides development, Sharma, for whom Prime Minister Narendra Modi sought votes at Mahendergarh rally on October 8, is selling chief minister dream to Ahirwal, an area, according to him, never got its due in last several decades.
“Sabnay dekha, Modiji nay meri peeth thoki. Uska matlab sab samajh aagaya (Everybody saw how Modi patted my back at the rally. It implied a hidden message of relying on me after polls),” said Sharma, who was earlier a professor in a Mahendergarh college.
The difference between Chandigarh and Mahendergarh is of a few syllables and after the saffron party is voted to power in Haryana this gap would be bridged, said Sharma, while addressing his supporters at Mahendergarh.
Talking to HT on issues in these polls, he said Congress candidate Rao Daan Singh is not an MLA, rather he had acted as a land shark in last over three decades.
“A township named Badarwal city in Mahendergarh is an example. It came into existence by taking land of innocent farmers at dirt-cheap prices and later by colluding with businessmen,” said Sharma, while promising that every inch of land would be returned to real land owners at Johnawas village.
Waiting for Ahir leader
With less than a week to go for October 15 polls, prominent Ahir leader and union minister Rao Inderjit Singh, who holds sway in Ahirland is yet to come to campaign in favour of state BJP chief Ram Bilas Sharma.
However, Gurgaon MP Rao Inderjit Singh, who is eyeing the chief minister’s chair, had been to neighbouring constituencies Narnaul and Nangal Chaudhary to seek votes for the saffron party candidates, but not even once he had come to the party state president’s constituency.
Though on October 8, Inderjit Singh was also present at Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s rally, he did not sought votes for Ram Bilas and ended his speech with soliciting support for BJP candidates in Ahirwal.
Downplaying the issue, Sharma said Rao Inderjit Singh is a like a dear brother to him and he may be roped in to canvass for him in last days of election.
With INLD replacing Rao Bahadur Singh, a Ahir leader, with Nirmala Tanwar from Rajput community at the eleventh hour, it has also upset the caste calculation of Brahmin leader Ram Bilas Sharma, who may have benefited by division in votes of two Ahir candidates of the Congress and INLD.
Three-time Congress MLA Rao Daan Singh, who despite being an outsider has been dominating the poll scenario of Mahendergarh, is more popular for his mysterious style of campaigning than for anything else.
At a time when other candidates are trying their best to get space in vernacular media, Daan Singh keeps local media on tenterhooks about his daily poll schedule. As per a local scribe, it was easier for them to track the chief minister if he is in town, but no one knows where Daan Singh goes, what he does the whole day.
A supporter of the Congress leader said ‘Netaji’ is out to placate disgruntled Ahir leaders and he moves on bikes at night by covering his head with a helmet and visits them personally. At times, he comes to his at his residence at 7am after campaigning whole night. Quoting an incident, the party supporter said while placating an Ahir leader, Daan Singh took out an axe from his vehicle and asked him to better chop off his neck than to get defeated by a Brahmin leader (Ram Bilas Sharma).
‘Forget CM post, let him win election first’
Talking to HT on land grab accusations, Rao Daan Singh said the opposition has no issue to highlight and thus they were resorting to personal attacks against him by calling him land shark.
Admitting that Mahendergarh is still reeling under water crisis, Rao Daan Singh, who is chief parliamentary secretary in the Congress regime, said the constituency has witnessed historic development in last 10 years and there are new schools, colleges, a medical college and a central university. On BJP candidate Ram Bilas Sharma’s claim on chief minister’s chair, he said forget his instalation as chief minister, let him win the election first.