Graft, law and order, regional bias, dominate Haryana polls

Graft, law and order, regional bias, dominate Haryana polls

The blemish of rampant corruption in land deals, regional bias, lopsided development and deteriorating law and order in the state appears to be the dominant narrative influencing electorates in Haryana ahead of the Assembly election on October 15.

The Congress stares at an uncertain future facing 10-years of anti-incumbency amid an ever more resurgent opposition. The tenure of the Bhupinder Singh Hooda government has been blemished by shady land deals, including the controversial deal involving Robert Vadra and reality major DLF. 

Dubbed as a party of “property dealers,” the issue of giving clearances to realtors for change of land use, especially in high-potential zones like Gurgaon, is dominating the election rhetoric. The principal opposition party INLD even released a CD which allegedly shows Congress leaders in government in money transactions for change of land use.  

Hooda has been in the line of fire, even from his own party colleagues, for pushing development projects into his home constituency at the cost of other segments. The issue of regional bias and lopsided development has assumed greater prominence in this election.  

Comparing Rohtak with Chandigarh satellite township of Panchkula, once professed to be the “Paris of India”, RTI documents reveal that 1,237 development projects came to Rohtak (Hooda’s home turf), while Panchkula got a meager 47. Sample this: Out of the total money released between 2005-12 under the Haryana Rural Development Fund, districts of Rohtak, Jhajjar and Sonipat got the maximum 14 per cent of share, while other districts received a far less share.

Talking to Deccan Herald, Balwinder Kaur, a retired professor from Kurukshetra University, said regional bias has caused a mismatch in development. “Consider Panchkula, a township that had vast potential because of its proximity to capital city Chandigarh, but did not grow as per expectations,” she said.  

The growing crime rate in the state has left much to be desired. Opposition parties are making law and order an issue to cite the failure of the ruling establishment. As per statistics, on an average, three murders, two rapes, four kidnappings and two dacoities have taken place every day in Haryana. 

However, Hooda’s good showing on certain development issues, including its Land Acquisition Policy, incentives for sportspersons, the initiation of the Gorakhpur nuclear power plant etc, are also finding merit with the electorate. 

One of BJP’s promises of making the killing of cows an offence in Haryana, to be treated under section 302 of the IPC, is also appealing to the masses.

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