BJP leader Krishan Pal Gurjar, 61, was catapulted to limelight in his debut Lok Sabha election in 2914 when he trounced his rival and four-time Congress MP, Avtar Singh Bhadana, by a whopping 4.6-lakh votes from Faridabad seat. Then, Modi wave made his win remarkable. The same effect, however, is not being felt this time around.
And unexpectedly, Gurjar again faces competition, though of a different kind, from Bhadana, the man whom he defeated in 2014. A moneybag, Bhadana quit the Congress and joined BJP about three years ago. He is pretty clear on wanting to contest from Faridabad LS seat on the saffron party symbol.
Bhadana, who was Congress MP in 1991, 2004 and 2009 from Faridabad and in 1999 from Meerut (UP), says he devoted 30 years to the Congress but his past three years were just for the BJP. Now, a member of the national executive of the BJP, Bhadana, who like Krishan Pal comes from the Gujjar community, is emphatic when he says that voters of Faridabad know the kind of work he has done all these years. “The BJP leadership should compare my and Gurjar’s standing before taking a decision on the candidate from Faridabad,” he says.
VOICES WITHIN PARTY, AND MAJOR WORKS
Gurjar, who is minister of state for social justice and empowerment, faces criticism from within the party in his constituency. BJP leaders and workers, requesting anonymity, say he was concentrating only on people and areas of his choice. He also faces allegations that illegal mining and illegal plying of buses in Faridabad continue despite his knowledge.
Several major works completed during his stint in this constituency, however, speak for him. And he is quick to name them – Delhi Metro, which was up to Ajronda has been made operational up to Ballabhgarh; completion of much delayed Kundli-Manesar-Palwal and Kundli-Ghaziabad-Palwal expressways and six flyovers on Delhi-Faridabad-Agra national highway (NH-2).
All these works have brought a major relief from painful traffic jams for motorists not only from his constituency but the entire National Capital Region (NCR).
Gurjar names several other works done during his stint, including the setting up Shri Vishwakarma Skill University and the smart city status to Faridabad. His forceful narration of what he did for the constituency notwithstanding, the going does not seem to be easy for him in the upcoming parliamentary polls.
However, his home town Faridabad continues to stink. Poor civic amenities, traffic congestion and unhygienic conditions have been a challenge he has failed to address, say his rivals.
RIVALS TERM HIM A FAILURE
Though Faridabad has bagged the smart city tag and Rs 400 crore funds, the work on the ground is moving at a snail’s pace. Critics, including MLAs from rival political parties, are vocal about his failures and inadequacies. Out of the nine assembly segments in Faridabad Lok Sabha constituency, only three are represented by the ruling BJP legislators.
Badkhal, Ballabhgarh and Faridabad are represented by BJP MLAs, Seema Trikha, Mool Chand, and Vipul Goel, respectively. The rest six are represented by the INLD (Hathin and Faridabad NIT), the Congress (Palwal, Tigaon and Hodal) and the BSP (Prithla).
Congress MLAs Karan Dalal and Jagdish Nagar are critical of Gurjar for not doing enough for the people of constituency and its people. “Crime is on the rise like never before and the works he takes credit for were started during the Congress rule,” says Dalal. Nagar, on the other hand, accuses the MP of patronising illegal mining and illegal plying of buses in the constituency, a charge dismissed by Gurjar.
Interestingly enough, INLD MLA from Faridabad NIT Nagender Bhadana, lauds the ruling BJP especially chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar for various major works done in his segment. “I may be from an opposition party but the fact is that the chief minister deserves kudos for getting a five-km long open sewerage cemented with wide roads on both sides, besides bringing drinking water facility through a 25-km pipeline for a particular pocket of villages in my segment,” Nagender says. He is likely to shift camps in the coming days.
Though the Congress is yet to name its candidate, party insiders say Dalal and Nagar were interested in fighting the upcoming election.
Mar 14, 2021 16:50 IST