Kusheshwar Bhagat, 48, has been running a ‘pav bhaji’ stall off Jharsa Road in Part-II of Sector 15 here for more than a decade now. But don’t mistake him for an ordinary street food vendor by the roadside.One of the seven Independent contestants in the fray for the Lok Sabha election in Gurugram, Mr. Bhagat is contesting for the third consecutive time from this parliamentary constituency. He fought two Vidhan Sabha elections earlier. But could never save his deposit.Voters disillusioned“I polled 7,821 votes in 2014 LS election, the highest so far in the four elections,” says Mr. Bhagat, who has moveable assets of around ₹2.5 lakh, besides a Nano car and a house in Delhi. “The voters seem disillusioned with all parties this time. I hope to get around 3 lakh votes… they will vote me to power one day,” says Mr. Bhagat, contesting on the plank of health and education to all.Like him, affordable health and education, development, agrarian crisis, corruption and unemployment are high on the agenda of the Independent candidates in Gurugram. Pawan Kumar, 34, a resident of Gurugram, says he decided to fight the election to raise his voice against lack of jobs and the plight of government schools. “The local youth are not getting employed in the industries in the area. The government schools are in a pitiable condition. Farmers are in distress and the soldiers are dying,” says Mr. Pawan, a graduate, claiming the support of a dozen villages. He says his election symbol, a bucket, will help him strike an instant chord with the voters. He hopes to win with a margin of around one lakh votes.A mini-worldBikaner’s Virender, who claims to have contested five Rajasthan Assembly elections, says that Gurugram is a mini-world with people having come and settled from across the globe. He wants to make it a truly “Millennium City”.Sudesh Kumar of Pataudi, a Scheduled Caste, took the plunge to prepare for the Assembly election later this year. Self-employed, Mr. Sudesh says this Lok Sabha election is a “mock test” for him as he wants to acquaint himself with the election process.Most of these Independent candidates, coming from humble backgrounds, are contesting on shoestring budgets with little money to spare for the canvassing. Mr. Pawan says he is yet to get his campaign material printed and has sought financial support from his father and relatives. He carries his visiting card along and distributes it during his door-to-door campaign.Mr. Bhagat says he spent around ₹15,000 on his campaign in the previous election, but this time he is pinning his hopes on the free publicity through the media. “Every day an article is carried on me in the newspapers. It is enough publicity.I need not spend much on the campaign this time.” says Kusheshwar.Mr. Virender says that he will reach the voters through door-to-door campaign, distributing handbills and send text messages. Mr. Sudesh is active on all popular social media platforms, including Instagram and Facebook, and updates all his canvassing pictures online for the maximum reach.
View comments Read Next “It’s definitely a good partnership as they committed long term in supporting Alab Pilipinas as San Miguel believes in our vision,” the approachable executive said.“They don’t want to disappoint the Filipino fans here and all over the world.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSLillard, Anthony lead Blazers over ThunderSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutThis isn’t the first go-round for San Miguel in the ABL as it competed for two seasons under the Beermen banner and flaunted the likes of former PBA Most Valuable Players Asi Taulava and Eric Menk, as well as an upstart June Mar Fajardo, who is the reigning four-time PBA MVP.Under coach Leo Austria, San Miguel made two Finals appearances and won the 2013 ABL Championship. Reigning ABL Local MVP Bobby Ray Parks Jr.’s father, the late Bobby Parks, was also a San Miguel import during the late 1980s and previously served as the ABL team’s first head coach. Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Alab parted ways with former backer Tanduay following reported differences between the rhum company’s management and head coach Jimmy Alapag.Curiously, no Tanduay official was present in the team’s 94-91 overtime win against Chong Son Kung Fu on Wednesday.Alab Pilipinas sits at fourth in the 2018 ASEAN Basketball League with its 7-4 card and will unveil its new name when it returns to action on Sunday against the Singapore Slingers.The transition won’t be much of a problem given a number of players’ familiarity with San Miguel Corporation.Veterans Dondon Hontiveros, Rico Maierhofer, and Josh Urbiztondo all saw action for SMC teams in the PBA, while World imports Renaldo Balkman (San Miguel) and Justin Brownlee (Ginebra) have also previously served as reinforcements in the company’s PBA teams.ADVERTISEMENT MOST READ LATEST STORIES Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH Photo by Tristan Tamayo/ INQUIRER.netAlab Pilipinas has forged a new partnership with a familiar face in the ASEAN Basketball League.Team owner Charlie Dy announced that the Philippine side will now be backed by San Miguel, marking the conglomerate’s return to the regional league.ADVERTISEMENT NCAA volleyball: Benilde stops Mapua to boost Final Four chances Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. John Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s wedding NEXT BLOCK ASIA 2.0 introduces GURUS AWARDS to recognize and reward industry influencers Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City Slow and steady hope for near-extinct Bangladesh tortoises AFP official booed out of forum Globe Business launches leading cloud-enabled and hardware-agnostic conferencing platform in PH 2 ‘newbie’ drug pushers fall in Lucena sting