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Lok Sabha Elections 2019: Switching sides, connections helped Gurugram MP Rao Inderjit Singh

Lok Sabha Elections 2019: Unlike the last term when Rao Inderjit Singh was in the Congress and had to struggle with ruling governments at the Centre and state for development in south Haryana, his switch to the BJP seems to have helped the Faridabad Lok Sabha MP.

people Updated: Mar 14, 2019 17:08 IST
Abhishek Behl
Abhishek Behl
Hindustan Times, Gurugram
Lok Sabha Elections 2019,Election news,Lok Sabha Polls
Gurugram MP Rao Inderjit Singh admits that the BJP governments in the Centre and the state have been far more accommodating and balanced in their approach towards development and recruitment across Haryana.(Yogendra Kumar/HT PHOTO)

Two-time Gurugram MP Rao Inderjit Singh, who is a Union minister of state, had been seeking an AIIMS in Rewari, a district in his Lok Sabha constituency, to improve the quality of health care in south Haryana. Though he had lost hopes of getting it in the present term, the Centre accepted his demand and announced an AIIMS to be set up at Manethi village in Rewari.

The announcement was made in the Union budget on February 1.

Unlike the last term when Singh was in the Congress and had to struggle with ruling governments at the Centre and state for development in south Haryana, his switch to the BJP seems to have helped. He admits that the BJP governments in the Centre and the state have been far more accommodating and balanced in their approach towards development and recruitment across Haryana.

“The discrimination of the past has ended but there is lot of work that needs to be done,” he says.

DEVELOPMENT PLANS ON TRACK

Singh played an important role in the setting up of the Gurugram Metropolitan Development Authority (GMDA), an over-arching development body for the district. After its inception, the GMDA initiated infrastructure projects such as the much-needed city wide bus service, CCTV surveillance system, optical fibre cables to turn Gurugram into a smart city and ensuring water and power supply in developing sectors.

He used his leverage with Union transport minister Nitin Gadkari to ensure that work on the Dwarka expressway resumed. A slew of underpasses on the Delhi-Gurugram expressway and other infrastructure projects in Rewari and Mewat distrcts were also completed.

The shifting of the Kherki Daula toll has also been initiated by the state and central governments after he pursued the matter.

Singh says that the early approval of the Delhi-Alwar rapid rail project, extension of Gurugram Metro towards the railway station and Sector 23 happened due to his intervention at the highest level. “Our government in the centre and the state have played important role in transforming Gurugram in what it was 5 years back,” he asserts.

The MP spent money from the Member Parliament Local Area Development Fund (MPLAD) to upgrade the Gurugram and Rewari railway stations. The construction of a foot over bridge (FOB) at Gurugram station is in progress.

In his previous Lok Sabha stint (2009-14), Singh, who was in the Congress at that time, had managed to ensure that a municipal corporation was set up in Gurugram. “Back then, the government policies and actions were totally skewed against this region and all revenue generated here was spent elsewhere. But this will not happen now,” he says.

City residents agree that the traffic has eased on national highway 8, more underpasses and flyovers are coming up in the city and work on the Sohna road project is on the anvil. They also welcome the setting up of the GMDA but are yet to see results from this agency on the ground. What perturbs them is that the completion of the Dwarka expressway is no way near, the transfer of Kherki Daula toll plaza is still in doldrums and there has been no relief for beleaguered home buyers.

OUTSMARTS OPPONENTS

Political analysts, however, say that Singh’s differences with chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar and local BJP leaders have slowed down development. The officers and political representatives in the city are divided in their loyalties to either the Gurugram MP or Badshahpur MLA, who don’t see eye to eye on any issue.

Not ready to yield an inch to his political opponents within and outside the party, Singh has protected his political turf in Gurugram, they say. He played a key role in ensuring that candidates supported by him and endorsed by the party could only become mayors in the Municipal Corporation of Gurugram.

In his last term, Singh outsmarted his opponents in the Congress, including the then chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda, in this high stake game when he ensured that his loyalist Bimal Yadav became the first mayor of Gurugram.

On his decision to leave the Congress, the MP says it was more about being unable to make his voice heard in that party, while the BJP assured him that his demand for growth and infrastructure development in south Haryana and Gurugram would be heard. It is a different matter though that in the BJP also he is facing the same political dilemma as the state BJP, the Gurugram MP feels, is trying to portray someone else as an alternative Yadav leader from south Haryana.

The questions and issues he raised during his previous term were all addressed during this present stint in Parliament, courtesy the BJP governments in the state and Centre and weaker local opposition.

He admits that the ML Khattar government has been more balanced in its approach to development and has given south Haryana its due. However, decades of neglect the area faced can’t be undone in five years and this is why he wants people to vote him back to power.

First Published: Mar 14, 2019 17:08 IST