Lok Sabha elections 2019: Badshahpur aspires to be on growth map
The constituency is dominated by Ahir/Yadav population, but residents also include Jats, Gujjars, Punjabis, Brahmins, Rajputs and Baniyas.Updated: Apr 28, 2019 00:54 IST
Situated on the Gurugram-Sohna-Alwar route, Badshahpur constituency is a mix of urban parts, such as the industrial township of Udyog Vihar, developing residential areas of Palam Vihar, DLF Phases 2 and 3 in the city, as well as rural agriculture belts of Farrukhnagar, Khandsa and Jharsa. Badshahpur has the highest number of voters — 378,243 — of the nine assembly constituencies that make up the Gurgaon Lok Sabha seat.
In 2014, of the 307,535 votes from the constituency, the BJP’s Rao Inderjit Singh, who is the sitting member of Parliament (MP) and Union minister of state (Independent Charge), ministry of planning; Union minister of state, ministry of chemicals and fertilisers, received 130,918 votes. Congress’ Rao Dharampal came a distant second, securing only 22,193 votes.
In 2009, Rao Inderjit (who was then contesting on a Congress ticket) secured the highest number of votes — 39,454 of the total of 180,485. The BJP candidate, Sudha, came second with 25,818 votes. The constituency is dominated by Ahir/Yadav population, but residents also include Jats, Gujjars, Punjabis, Brahmins, Rajputs and Baniyas.
HT spent a day in various parts of the constituency earlier this week to assess the mood of the voters, in the run-up to the elections scheduled for May 12. Many voters said they are concerned about the lack of jobs, public transport and low visibility of the sitting MP in their area.
Located near the Delhi-Gurugram border, the industrial township of Udyog Vihar is host to more than 2,500 industries that employ more than a lakh people, according to the Gurgaon Udyog Association. However, the industries have had to cut jobs as business has decreased drastically following demonetisation in 2016, said members of the association.
“Before demonetisation, industries would hire extra manpower frequently. That has changed now. Industries have started cutting down on manpower as the orders they receive have become limited,” said Praveen Yadav, president of the association, adding that thousands have lost their jobs in the last two years.
Vivek Kumar, who was employed as a worker at a garment factory in Udyog Vihar until January 2017, said it has become impossible to find a job. “Earlier, based on some recommendations, industries would hire us. But the 10-12 of us, who were fired from our jobs to cut costs, haven’t found anything. We are doing odd jobs daily,” he said.
The workers said they have to walk to work as there is no proper Metro or bus connectivity from their villages to Udyog Vihar. “Most commuters have to depend on shared autos. The Metro connectivity promised to us in 2014 hasn’t happened yet,” said Yadav.
Hawa Singh, a local who works as a factory worker, said he has to walk more than three kilometres every day. “It is getting difficult to walk in the heat every day. My two children have to walk at least a kilometre to their primary school. The sitting MP has never visited the area. How will he know what problems we have here?” he said.
Adjacent to Udyog Vihar is Dundahera, which hasn’t seen much development. The village is a breeding ground for mosquitoes due to the garbage dumped here, residents said. “There is no sanitation and hygiene. So much for Swachh Bharat,” said Mohan Kumar, a local.
Located around 30 kilometres from Udyog Vihar is the historically rich town of Farrukhnagar, which has a population of 1.35 lakh as per the 2011 Census. It is known for the Dilli Darwaza, which used to be the gateway to Farrukhnagar, but is currently lying in neglect. The town also houses Baoli Ghaus Ali Shah, an 18th century octagonal structure with stone staircases. According to historians, about 300 years ago, the land around Farrukhnagar used to be rich in salt.
Residents of Farrukhnagar said the town has poor roads, lack of connectivity, no public healthcare facilities, such as a government hospital, nor a higher educational institute.
At the anaj mandi in Farrukhnagar, which is spread over 10 acres, women who work as sweepers said they would vote for the BJP as it has helped them build houses. “We are happy with the government. My neighbours have built huge houses in the past five years. My children have gone on to get jobs as watchmen in the city,” said Bala, who has been living here for the past 30 years.
However, the men, who work as middlemen and accountants in the mandi, had different views. “Our anaj is not getting sold. The current lot of about three quintals has been lying here for more than three weeks. I heard the JJP-AAP alliance candidate Mehmood Khan has done work for farmers and since he is from a family of farmers, he would listen to our issues,” said Balwan Singh, 60.
Badshahpur, known for the Badshahpur Fort and for Begum Samru, who ruled over the Badshahpur-Jharsa area in the 17th century, is a town around nine kilometres from the city of Gurugram.
People there said they haven’t seen much development in the area in the past five years.
“Things are pretty much the same. A new water pipeline was installed a few weeks ago but we are getting dirty and smelly water. Sewage overflows in the colonies and emanates a foul smell,” said Charan Singh, a local.
Ajay Yadav, a local social worker who holds language and skill development classes free of cost, said job creation is a major demand. “The rural youth is talented. Most jobs in the city are being provided by private companies. If vacancies in government offices are filled by the youth, the area would see development,” he said.
Raman Malik, spokesperson, BJP Haryana, said Rao Inderjit has been looking into the grievances of people and has been in the loop with regards to all decisions. “His job is to legislate. Working like a councillor isn’t feasible,” Malik said.
He said that development in the Badshahpur constituency has been a priority. “Water, power and other amenities have reached developing sectors in the past five years. A medical college is coming up in Kherki Daula Majra and a superspeciality hospital has been planned in Sector 67. The Gurugaman bus services is connecting villages,” he said.
Rao Inderjit Singh couldn’t be reached for a comment.
First Published: Apr 28, 2019 00:54 IST