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Looking beyond dynasties

Looking beyond dynasties
The land of the three Lals, Haryana, since its creation on 1 November 1966 has always been dominated by one of these three personalities – Devi Lal, Bansi Lal and Bhajan Lal. The less than 48 year old state has been ruled by Devi Lal and his son Chautala, Bansi Lal and Bhajan Lal for more than 34 years and by the puppets of Devi Lal and Bansi Lal for another two and half years.

B D Gupta ruled twice as Bansi Lal’s puppet and again Devi Lal and Hukum Singh as respective proxy’s of Devi Lal and Chautala. Chief Minister Hooda with his longest continuous term is going to complete two terms (10 years)although he has no direct or indirect lineage with the three Lals. Hooda has been nurturing a new dynasty. He would become first in the state to complete two full terms one after another.

The elections to the 12th Assembly in Haryana are due in November 2014. The prestige of Hooda has been affected due to the worst ever performance of the Congress  party. The party could secure only one seat that too by Deepender Hooda, son of the CM, re elected from Rohtak, which is also regarded as the home district of Hoodas. The party had to suffer a humiliating defeat with loss of eight seats, winning only one against a landslide victory over nine seats in 2009 Lok Sabha elections.

Moreover the vote share of the Congress drastically decreased from 42.13 per
cent in 2009 to 22.9 per cent in 2014 Lok Sabha elections. Earlier, its worst percentage had been 17.95 in 1977 when it drew blank from the state, 22.64 per cent with securing two seats in 1996 and 26.02 per cent with three seats in 1998 Lok Sabha elections.

Surprisingly the party drew blank with 34.93 per cent votes in 1999 and was able to secure nine seats with 37.22 per cent votes in 1991 Lok Sabha elections. While comparing with the vote percentage in 2009 Vidhan Sabha elections and 2014 Lok Sabha elections, the vote per cent slumped from 35.11 to 22.09. Hooda had to strive hard to muster majority to again form the government in 2009. He seems to be a bit unlucky, gradually losing popularity and grip over the party and governance despite scoring a lot on the development front.

He has been ditched by Vinod Sharma, Gopal Kanda and Rao Inderjit Singh whereas other prominent leaders in his party such as Birender Singh, Selja have been opposing the CM. Keeping in view the above facts and figures, it is doubtful whether the party will be able to make it again. As far as the dynasties are concerned, Devi Lal dynasty is facing the toughest time as INLD Chairperson Chautala and his son Ajay are behind the bars, courtesy JBT recruitment scam.

Bansi Lal dynasty has not been left with any charismatic leader after the demise of Bansi Lal and the
third dynasty of Bhajan Lal has not created any niche in the politics. The party formed by Bhajan Lal in 2007 suffered losses with the defeat of its present president, Kuldip Bishnoi. Apart from this Bishnoi could not hold together his flock of the six elected MLAs in 2009. Seemingly the next ruler of Haryana will not be from the three dynasties and the other one being nurtured by Hooda.

As far as the prospects of the saffron party in the ensuing Assembly elections are concerned, one may note that the BJP scored magnificently when it contested as an alliance partner in the earlier Lok Sabha elections.  It scored four seats with 19.74 per cent votes out of 10 Lok Sabha seats as a partner of Bansi Lal’s HVP in 1996 and one seat with 18.89 per cent votes as a partner of HVP in 1998, five seats with 29.91 per cent votes as a partner of Chautala’s INLD in 1999 and seven seats with its highest ever 34.7 per cent votes as a partner of Bishnoi’s party in2014.

The BJP has no guarantee of getting an absolute majority in the Assembly elections. The Congress in Delhi securing 68 out of 70 seats in 2009 Lok Sabha elections was routed securing just eight sets in the 2013 Assembly elections. The BJP, while in coalition, with Devi Lal outfit could secure the highest 16 seats with 10.08 per cent votes in 1987 Assembly elections and the minimum two seats with 6.55 per cent votes in 1972 elections while contesting without any alliance.

The BJP in order to emerge as the largest party to rule the state would have to select a viable partner out of INLD and Bishnoi’s Haryana Janhit Congress as it looks difficult for the party to secure an absolute majority on its own.

The author is a communication consultant
Sat Pal

Sat Pal

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