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Anna call yet to find echo in Hisar

india Updated: Oct 08, 2011 23:01 IST
Hitender Rao
Hitender Rao
Hindustan Times
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"Jo umeedwaar nahi karta lokpal ko support use nahi milega hamara vote (Those candidates who don't support lokpal will not get our vote)," read an Anna label pasted at the back of a vehicle in Hansi town. With anti-corruption being the catchphrase nowadays, such slogans are in vogue.

But will Hazare's call to reject the Congress nominee in the Hisar Lok Sabha by-election have any bearing on the outcome remains to be seen. Though it may have some impact in urban centres such as Hisar town, it is not expected to have much of a bearing in villages.

The byelection is being branded as a test case for the controversy-ridden Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) at the Centre following social activist Anna Hazare's anti-corruption movement. However, voters across this parliamentary constituency here are beset with several local issues than care for Anna's call.

"This area has suffered in the last seven years due to discrimination. Inflation is at an all-time high, prices of petroleum products have increased manifold, power shortage, unemployment… one can go on," says Roop Singh, a Hisar farmer having a vote in the Barwala segment.

INLD nominee Ajay Chautala who speaks at length on Anna's anti-corruption movement and UPA's maltreatment towards him during his poll meeting agrees: "There are so many local issues such as the deteriorating law and order, shortage of diammonium phosphate (DAP) fertiliser etc that overwhelm Anna's call. In Hansi alone, 27 murders have taken place during the Congress rule and all cases have remained unresolved."

Hisar-based shopkeeper Praveen Bansal says that corruption being a core issue is weighed down by other matters affecting the day-to-day life of the common man.

HJC-BJP candidate Kuldeep Bishnoi is trying to cash in on the slogan the most by saying: "For me corruption is the number one issue. Of the three top candidates in the by-election, I have the cleanest image."

Even for Congress candidate Jai Prakash, anti-corruption remains the flavour of present times. "The vote for development and against corruption is my agenda. If two families - Chautalas and Bhajan Lal can be ousted from Haryana, it will signal the end to corruption in the state," he said.

An INLD supporter at Ghurana village in Narnaund, Mani Ram, takes a jibe: "Team Anna is probably trying to cash in on the already disadvantaged position of the Congress candidate. They will like to take credit for his poor showing."