The last day of campaigning unfolded in radically different ways for Gurgaon candidates Yogendra Yadav (AAP) and Rao Inderjit Singh (BJP).
While it was a little rushed for Yadav, who delivered his final speech to people of Sikrawa village in Mewat district in five minutes, Singh finished early on Tuesday afternoon and said he was confident of his victory.
Yadav’s cavalcade spent the entire day touring various locations in Mewat district, while Singh concluded his campaign in Basai village, close to Gurgaon city.
Taking a dig at Singh, Yadav said Singh was still banking on “conventional politics” and that “Singh would like to believe he still has the lead among the rural masses”.
“In the initial stages of the campaign, we were very weak among the rural masses, but now we have made up ground, especially in rural Rewari, Bawal and Pataudi, which has traditionally been a stronghold for Singh,” Yadav said. “Among the urban and semi-urban populations, we were doing very well already,” he said.
Singh, on the other hand, said Yadav was a “TV creation who only had an intellectual and superficial involvement with the villages”.
“My strength still is the rural mass base, besides having a clean reputation among the people of the city,” he said.
Both, while accepting that the Mewat electorate was a decisive factor in the upcoming elections, had different views on the likely choice the 4.5 lakh voters in the district — of which over 3.5 lakh are from the Meo community — were going to make. Both have also campaigned extensively in Mewat. The Meo community has traditionally voted for Zakir Hussain, currently the INLD candidate.
Singh claimed that “faith was above all else for the Meo community” and that “over 80 per cent votes are going to Hussain”, while Yadav was of the opinion that the Meo vote block was ruptured this time around.
“It is true that they have been voting for Hussain, but this time the youth among them seem to be disenchanted with him and are looking favourably at us,” Yadav said.
He said the AAP stood to benefit from the resentment among the local political leaders in Mewat region, who had so far been suppressed by prominent political parties and who wanted to make their voice heard. “They have expressed their support to us,” he said.
Yadav, on Monday, also sought support from industrial and migrant workers, after representatives from unions told him about their problems, AAP spokespersons said.
“They met him and pledged their support. He has promised them that the AAP will work on the issues of contractual labour, housing and safety for workers, strict implementation of labour laws and minimum wages and the pensions for the workforce,” a party spokesperson said.