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Independents have edge over parties

india Updated: May 08, 2011 01:26 IST
Eshani Mathur

As the campaigning for the Gurgaon Municipal Corporation (MCG) elections enters the second phase, experts speculate that independent candidates, supported by various resident welfare associations, will manage to bag a "good number" of seats, especially in the New Gurgaon areas. What work in their favour, according to analysts, are the profile of the electorate and the clout of resident welfare organisations have among the voters.

Also many independent candidates have taken the campaigning seriously and are giving a tough fight to their political counterparts. According to many, political parties do not have much support base in New Gurgaon.

Out of the 378 candidates, 301 are independent candidates. What independent candidates count in their favour is the aversion of the general public in posh localities of the city towards politicians. The support to Anna Hazare's campaign against corruption witnessed in the city recently has deepened their conviction. Analysts say that even if independents fail to bag many seats, still their support may be crucial for the selection of the mayor.

Many independent candidates from New Gurgaon wards admitted that they were approached by political parties but they decided to go solo.

Roshni, an independent candidate from ward on. 34, said she declined a party ticket as she did not want to become a puppet in the hands of any political party or its ideology.

"I am contesting elections to change the existing system, fight against it and clean it up. Being part of the system, political parties have become untrustworthy," Amandeep Singh, an independent from ward 34, said.

While the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has fielded 44 candidates, Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) has accorded support to 33 members. The Congress, meanwhile, has not issued any list. Mahesh Dayma, an independent contesting from ward 32, believes half the battle is lost if he "joins any party and lose my democracy and freedom".

He said, "A candidate should know the people, their problems and be someone who has suffered along with them. I do not want to be at the beck and call of a political party."

While independents are largely driven by the zeal to bring about change and well-drafted agendas, political parties have more funds and manpower.