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Gurugram: Congress bastion where voters have sprung surprises

Gurugram: Congress bastion where voters have sprung surprises
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Gurugram: The district of Gurugram historically has been a stronghold of Congress party ever since 1952 when the first General elections were held in the region. A part of East Punjab then it was Thakur Das Bhargava who defeated his rival Jeevan Khan by 76,654 votes then. Such has been the importance of South Haryana regions that doyens of Congress like Maulana Abul Kalam Azad contested from the seat in 1957 against Mool Chand who was from Jan Sangha.

Azad won the contest by 95,668 votes which were one of the highest margins won by a candidate. This record was beaten only in 2009 when Rao Inderjit Singh from Congress managed to barely cross this figure. In 2014 Rao Inderjit who then contested from the BJP not only won convincingly but ensured that for the first time the margin of victory for the candidate in Gurugram as more than one lakh votes.

Despite Congress winning the seat maximum number of times, Gurugram voters have always sprung a surprise and have ensured that the grand old party of India never have it easy. Interestingly, the region has never ensured that the candidate from local parties wins from the region. Interestingly more than the candidates from the local parties, it is the independents that have gained more traction among the voters. In the closest contest till date, Abdul Ghani who was an independent then defeated Gajraj Singh from the Congress by just 1,308 votes in 1967. Congress was, however, able to wrest the seat again in 1971 elections.

The voters from Gurugram resulted in the win of the BJP candidate even at a time when the Saffron party barely had a presence in Haryana. From 1971 to 2004 Gurugram then Gurgaon used to come under Mahendargarh Lok Sabha seat. After the creation of the Haryana state in 1966, Mahendargarh Lok Sabha seat first voted for Rao Birendra Singh father of present MP Rao Inderjit Singh in 1971.

Even though Rao Birender Singh and his son have had a formidable record in winning the Ahirwal belt maximum number of times since then. After the emergency, the Rao Birender Singh of Congress was defeated by lawyer Manohar Lal Saini from Janata Party. Saini, however, was defeated again by Rao Birender Singh in 1980 elections. The victorious reign of Rao Birender Singh carried on with huge wins in 1984 and 1989 elections. The Ahirs form the maximum percentage of voters at 17 per cent which is then followed by Meo Muslims at 13 per cent, the other prominent voters in the belt are Jats, Punjabis, Brahmins, Baniyas and Gurjars.

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