It's tough for an independent candidate to win an election.
But as the date for Haryana assembly polls — October 13 — draws near, 44-year-old RS Rathee, who is contesting from Gurgaon, is doing all it takes to turn the tide in his favour.
Lacking political support, Rathee is banking on the support of ordinary residents and social organisations and traders' bodies.
In the run-up to his political campaign, Rathee has consistently criticised the "failures" of the one-year-old civic body, Municipal Corporation of Gurgaon, calling it a "non-starter".
His election manifesto has proposed a dedicated Planning Board and a Gurgaon Development Authority while expressing the vision for the city that, with Faridabad, accounts for almost 50 per cent of Haryana's total revenue.
The 30-point manifesto also mentions bhagidari (partnership) of government with residents’ welfare associations (RWAs) and village panchayats, the setting up of Haryana Urban Regulatory Commission, upgrading the electrical distribution systems and streamlining Dakshin Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam Limited and Haryana Electricity Regulatory Nigam Limited.
Rathee has also expressed a desire to connect villages with the Basai canal and make rainwater harvesting mandatory.
He has ensured the concerns of the upwardly mobile in the city — called the call centre capital of the world in corporate circles — do not go unnoticed. He has promised to put greater emphasis on improved security, especially for women, children and senior citizens.
Also part of the Rathee agenda for Gurgaon are clean and healthy living conditions in villages, connection of sewages to HUDA main lines, efficient garbage disposal system and proper maintenance of roads.
After releasing the manifesto recently, Rathee went to the extent of saying Gurgaon was "actually a planned mess" under the veneer of a planned city.
"The private developers follow a policy of profiteering to the detriment of the interests of the citizens. HUDA is a law unto itself, creating low-quality facilities. The newly-formed municipal corporation is a non-starter," he said.