Millennium Post

Battle lines drawn in Haryana

The term of the present Haryana Assembly is due to expire in the last week of October and the political scenario is becoming hotter with every passing day. The Congress leader and present chief minister, Hooda, is not losing his desire of gaining the seat of power in the state for the third time consecutively despite facing the worst drubbing in Lok Sabha elections. He has been offering attractive lollypops apart from a hectic campaign in print and electronic media with government expenses. By the end of the term, Hooda would become the longest serving chief minister in Haryana, that too in one go. Hooda would also earn rare feet of completing two full terms one after another in a state once notorious for the game of Aya Rams and Gaya Rams.

The battle of Vidhan Sabha elections is becoming another kurukshetra war field as the BJP has expressed its firm commitment to gain majority in any case and would not like to leave any stone unturned in mobilising support. The party is buoyed with its performance in the recent Lok Sabha elections. It secured seven out of 10 Lok Sabha seats against its previous best of five and worst of zero. 

The new president of the BJP, assisted by in charge of the party in the state- Jagdish Mukhi, has been taking keen interest in Haryana. The presence of Amit Shah in Haryana Nirman Rally at Jind and another rally at Mahendergarh is enough to understand the moves of a well-known political strategist of the present days.

The worries of Hooda are being accumulated with desertion of a number of political heavyweights from his party. Apart from the two strong rivals - the BJP and INLD - a few fringe parties are getting ready to test their water in the elections. The parties formed by the two deserters from the Congress, Vinod Sharma and Gopal Kanda, have been trying to establish their presence and eat in to the vote bank of the Congress.

It is definitely a cause of concern for the BJP. A constituent party in the NDA, Akali Dal has almost decided to support INLD in the ensuing Assembly elections. The SAD earlier supported INLD candidate in Lok Sabha elections on Hissar seat. The senior Badal and Devi Lal have close family relations which will result in offering mutual support to each other at any cost. The BJP is also facing uncertainty on continuing alliance with Bishnoi party in the elections.

The saffron party is not willing to continue on the terms agreed upon earlier. The BJP is advocating for revisiting the terms and is even getting prepared to end the alliance and run for the all 90 seats alone.  The BJP high ups have come to know about the standing of Kuldeep Bishnoi and have understood the fact that he is not as charismatic in the state as his father Bhajan Lal, master strategist. The INLD is also in deep waters after announcing its 62 candidates in one go. The party is facing ire of the Jat community which had been its strong vote bank. The Jats are angry as the party has nominated only 16 jats as candidates out of 62. It is even facing desertion by many influential jats. The party is feeling handicapped as O P Chautala and his son Ajay Chautala are not in action since they are confined in the jail.

The problems in the Congress and INLD are going to help BJP and it has been making sound preparations despite facing minor roadblocks on the leadership issue. The party after bringing a tall Ahir leader, Rao Inderjit Singh, in its fold won over a tall Jat leader and a baiter of Hooda, Birender Singh. Inderjit Singh is Sir Chhotu Ram’s grandson, a minister in pre partition Punjab in 1940s and founder of Zaminadara Unionist party. He is a staunch well-wisher of the farmers and the first architect of political engineering of AJGAR — Ahirs, Jats and Rajputs.

Birender Singh is Neki Ram’s son, the then Congress stalwart and minister in Punjab. Birender has a rich appeal in his community as he had been a five time legislator, three time cabinet minister, one time Lok Sabha member, sitting Rajya Sabha member, AICC general secretary with charge of Delhi and Himachal and Uttarakhand, General secretary in Tiwari Congress. He is deeply involved in setting up a number of technical and professional institutions. He was once upon a time a youth icon, a cricketer and a known face in the political arena with affinity of over four decades with Congress party.

As Rao Inderjit succeeded in getting support of Ahirs and Yadav for the BJP in southern Haryana, Birender Singh is also expected to make a drastic dent in Jat strong holds in Rohtak, Sonepat, Jind, Hissar and Bhiwani.

The author is a communication consultant
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