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Tuesday, Nov 19, 2019

Manifesto promises elicit a big cheer for Congress’ Badshahpur candidate

cities Updated: Oct 16, 2019 23:24 IST

Gurugram: The promises of farm loan waiver, stipend to unemployed youth, kitchen expenses for families below poverty line, and free electricity elicit a big cheer for Congress candidate from Badshahpur Rao Kamalbir Singh while he tours the length and breadth of the constituency.

Badshahpur is a mixed constituency where both — rural population and urban population — live in large numbers. While for the urban population, the issues of roads, electricity supply, delivery of homes are the key issues, the people in villages have different demands.

“For this constituency, I have to balance the needs of different populations. The Congress had developed Gurgaon into a metropolitan city. But the present government has neither been able to serve the urban population nor the villagers,” says Kamalbir.

During his campaign on Wednesday, the Congress candidate, who was a surprise entry in the electoral battle, first visited the lawyers in Gurugram judicial complex and discussed the various issues and problems being faced by them. “The financial institutions are in dire stress and more banks will fail like PMC. Corporates are being favoured while poor farmers are under distress. There is no hope from the government,” said AK Gupta, a senior advocate.

Questioning the effectiveness of Swacch Bharat campaign, the lawyers said that there is no cleanliness in the mini secretariat and the judicial complex as well despite the government spending crores on this mission. “The issues raised by the lawyers and their problems would be resolved when the Congress comes to power,” he said.

After leaving the court complex, Kamalbir, along with this team, reached Jalal ki Dhani and Mange Ki Dhani on the outskirts of Gurugram, which is completely a rural area. Here the villagers are more concerned about farm loan waiver, stipend to unemployed youth and similar sops to rural people, which will improve their lives. “I assure the people that within six months, we will ensure that loans to farmers are waived off, stipend is given to women and several other measures are implemented,” said Kamalbir.

In Kherki Daula village, the people welcomed him with traditional dhols and the tying of the ‘pagri’ (head gear), as he walked from the highway to the Harijan chaupal where a large group of locals had gathered. Kamalbir accepted the garlands from them and promptly walked to a statue of Dr Bhimrao Ambedkar and put a garland on it as the Harijan chaupal reverberated with sloagans of Congress ‘zindabad’.

At the Harijan chaupal, the residents complained about frequent waterlogging in the area, lack of streetlights, sewage overflow and other civic problems that have not been addressed in the last five years. “We are suffering because of the apathy of the government as no development works have taken place. The Kherki Daula toll plaza is itself a major problem for both locals and migrants,” said Raja, who lives in a palatial house in the area and prefers to be called by this name.

After assuring the residents at the Harijan chaupal that their problems would be resolved, the Congress candidate reached the Yadav chaupal, where he promised that jobs, farm loan waiver, and stipend for unemployed would be announced as soon as Congress comes to power.

At the Yadav chaupal, Kamalbir was stumped by a local resident, who asked from where the money will come for such populist measures. “From where will the money come for your populist measures?” asked the Kherki Daula resident who also mentioned that Rafale had been brought by the BJP.

Kamalbir replied calmly. “I agree that the aircraft has come to India but it is imported. Congress brought Maruti. Several auto companies came to Gurugram and made it an auto hub but what is happening now. I request you to vote for Congress to ensure prosperity returns to Gurugram,” said Kamalbir, while local residents enjoyed the tune of the traditional ‘dhol’ which reverberated in the background.