The biggest challenge for BJP’s Gautam Budh Nagar candidate Dr Mahesh Sharma is to deal with anti-incumbency.(Sunil Ghosh / HT Photo)
The biggest challenge for BJP’s Gautam Budh Nagar candidate Dr Mahesh Sharma is to deal with anti-incumbency.(Sunil Ghosh / HT Photo)

Lok Sabha Elections 2019: BJP’s Mahesh Sharma faces anti-incumbency in GB Nagar

Local BJP workers also felt that party’s GB Nagar candidate Dr Mahesh Sharma failed to deliver on the poll promises made in 2014. However, the 59-year-old incumbent MP does not agree with this.
By Vinod Rajput | Hindustan Times, Noida
UPDATED ON APR 08, 2019 05:24 PM IST

Mahesh Sharma, the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) candidate from Gautam Buddh Nagar parliamentary constituency, faces the biggest challenge to deal with anti-incumbency on the seat where he got elected as Member of Parliament in 2014 by 2,58,871 votes, riding on the Modi wave.

Many BJP ticket aspirants were disappointed when the party retained his candidature for the 2019 general elections because they had been seeking a chance to contest polls on grounds that “every section of society, particularly villagers, are not happy with Sharma’s last five years of work” in the constituency.

Local BJP workers also felt that Sharma failed to deliver on the poll promises made in 2014. However, the 59-year-old incumbent MP does not agree with this.

“Yes, we need to perform better. We have done a lot of development here but we need to do more. This time, we will focus on improving law and order, tackle air pollution and homebuyers’ issues, among others,” Sharma, who owns the Kailash Hospitals Group, said

However, he still prefers to seek votes in Modi’s name.

This was visible at Noida’s Basai village on Sunday when Sharma simply asked a gathering of around 200 people, “Do you all not want to make Narendra Modi your prime minister again?”

When some of them, wearing BJP caps, replied in the affirmative, Sharma said, “If yes, then I need not say anything more. My work is done,” before rushing for another meeting.

In 2014, he had assured to address issues of homebuyers, demands of farmers and residential plots owners, farmers’ land compensation issues, better traffic management, freehold status to property, representation of public in industrial authorities of Noida, Greater Noida and Yamuna Expressway and develop two villages into model villages under Prime Minister Model village scheme, among others. However, people feel he could not fulfil the promises he had made in 2014.

“I have tried to solve homebuyers’ issues. We have formed the real estate regulatory authority and brought National Building Construction Corporation (NBCC) Limited to address homebuyers’ issues. I have done many works in Neemka village under the PM Model village scheme. And yet, I am completing work in another model village, Kachera Varsabad,” Sharma said.

Villagers in Kachera Varsabad, however, are angry with Sharma and put up posters against him to express their anguish, while in other villages of Jewar, Khurja and Dadri, villagers were more vocal about it.

“I could not give enough time in the last five years because I was looking after four different ministries. But I have been able to bring projects worth 50,000 crore that include Jewar airport, 6.5 km elevated road above the Shahdara drain, power project and archaeology institute, among others. In future, I will give more time to my constituency,” Sharma said.

Many villagers in Jewar, Dadri and Khurja segments said Sharma never returned to their villages after getting elected to the Lok Sabha seat and ignored their issues. However Sharma does not agree, “I have been always available for the people of my constituency and tried to solve their issues.”

Even urban voters felt he did not do much for Noida city.

“Mahesh Sharma never addressed our grievances related with safety and civic amenities in the last five years. He kept himself busy with his business and political ambitions. He ignored expectations of urban areas completely,” Prem Singh, a resident of Sector 135, said.

Sharma was born in Alwar, Rajasthan, and his father Kailash Chand Sharma was a school teacher. He did his schooling from ASVJ Higher Secondary School, Delhi, graduation from Zakir Hussain College, Dlehi University, and MBBS from the University College of Medical Sciences, New Delhi. He started a clinic from Sector 19 and set up his first hospital 25 years back in Sector 27.

In 2014, Sharma won the seat defeating Narendra Bhati of the Samajwadi Party (SP) by 258,871 votes. In the 2009 general elections, Surendra Singh Nagar of the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) had won the seat by 15,904 votes, defeating Sharma.

The BJP had fielded Sharma in the 2012 UP assembly polls, and Sharma had won the Noida assembly seat by 27,676 votes, defeating BSP’s Om Dutt. Sharma had got 77,226 votes, while Om Dutt could muster only 59,582 votes. Sharma had vacated the Noida seat after he won the Lok Sabha elections from Gautam Buddh Nagar Lok Sabha seat in 2014.

Many in the BJP feel that if the Congress’ candidate Arvind Singh cuts votes of the Rajput community, who were loyal to the BJP in 2014, then it will impact the prospects of Sharma. Singh, meanwhile, said SP-BSP alliance candidate Satveer Nagar is a dummy of the BJP and that his main fight is with the incumbent MP Sharma.

Responding to this, Sharma said, “He (Singh) will get to know who is a dummy on April 11.”

The BJP had got about 50% of the votes in the last polls, while the SP had got 26.64% votes and the BSP had got 16.53% votes. The SP and the BSP had contested separately in 2014.

“Even if they (BSP and SP) get 43.17% of votes like they did in 2014, we are going to win this seat,” Sharma said.

The Gautam Buddh Nagar parliamentary constituency had five segments - Noida, Dadri, Jewar, Sikandrabad and Khurja. While Noida, Dadri and Jewar are part of the Gautam Buddh Nagar district, Khurja and Sikandrabad are part of the Bulandshahr district. The constituency goes to polls on April 11 under phase I of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

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