By : K S Chawla
Although the Election Commission is yet to announce the schedule for the elections to the Haryana Vidhan Sabha, there is a rain of new political parties and new alignments are taking place. The newly formed political parties are now engaged in having some sort of alliance with the existing political outfits.
The Haryana state is witnessing fast political developments. BJP and Kuldeeep Bishnoi led Haryana Janhit Congress (HJC) contested the Lok Sabha Poll as alliance partners. The BJP won seven seats while HJC which was given two seats lost both including Hissar where HJC Chief Kuldeep Bishnoi was the candidate. Bishnoi lost to novice Dushyant of the Indian Lok Dal Party which is headed by Om Parkash Chautala. The BJP and HJC had agreed to contest the Vidhan Sabha election on 50-50 basis-45 seats each. But with the defeat of the HJC candidates in the Lok Sabha poll and prevalence of the Modi wave, the BJP has snapped ties with the HJC. Kuldeep Bishnoi has alleged that BJP leadership has betrayed the HJC and left it in lurch.
BJP leadership has now decided to go to the polls independently and will not have alliance with any party. It now depends on the Modi wave. The BJP has got some of the senior Congress leaders who have deserted the Congress and joined the BJP. Prominent among them are Birender Singh Chaudhry who belongs to Congress party whose ancestors were also in the Congress. He himself has spent more than forty years in the Congress. He left the congress because he could not become the Chief Minister of Haryana. He is also related to Bhupinder Singh Hooda who is the Chief Minister of the state. Rao Inderjit Singh another senior Congress leader of Haryana joined the BJP before the Lok Sabha elections and won on BJP ticket. He has since been inducted as a union minister of state in Modi Government. Similarly there are many more leaders who have joined the BJP.
Venod Sharma who has remained Congressman for a longtime and his father Pandit Kidar Nath was also a Congressman and had served as Vice-President of the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee. Venod Sharma was a minister in Hooda Government and once a close confidant of Hooda. He has floated a new political party known as Janchetna Party. Vinod Sharma and Kuldeep Bishnoi have joined hands to fight the Vidhan Sabha elections in Haryana. Both are non-jats and they will try to woo the non-jats. Haryana has a sizeable population of Brahamins and Venod Sharma is likely to woo the Brahamins. He has also undertaken a yatra in Haryana to boost the image of his party. Janchetna Party and HJC are also trying to have some sort of understanding with the BSP. Haryana has quite a good population of dalits as well.
Gopal Krishan Kanda who is charged with the alleged abetment to suicide by Geetika Sharma an Air Hostess in his company has floated new political party and announced to jump in the election arena. He is on ball in the case.
Indian Lok Dal (INLD) which is led by Om Parkash Chautala who has been convicted on charges of corruption and sentenced for ten years along with his son, is a jat dominated party. But the INLD has announced a list of 62 candidates-majority of them are non-jats. This has caused lot of resentment among the jats of Haryana. Chautala party is being supported by the Shiromani Akali Dal and both Parkash Singh Badal and Sukhbir Singh Badal canvassed for the INLD candidates in the Lok Sabha elections. It was because of the support from the Akali Dal that the INLD won two seats. The BJP leadership lodged a protest with the central BJP leadership over the campaigning by Badals in Haryana but the father-son duo did not bother about it at all and continued their campaigning. Badal and Chautala have old ties and they have stood by each other in thick and thin. Parkash Singh Badal and his family was provided all help by Om Parkash Chautala when Amarinder Singh during his tenure as Chief Minister of Punjab launched tirade against the Badals. Both father and son were arrested on alleged charges of corruption. The Badals also have their farms in Haryana.
Moreover, Badals maintain that their alliance with the BJP is restricted to Punjab and they are free to campaign for any party in other states.
The Congress Party in Haryana has recovered setback with the defection of some of the senior leaders. Moreover, the Congress party in Haryana is plagued with the intense infighting and there are different groups working in different directions. But Bhupinder Singh Hooda, Chief Minister is not worried with the infighting in the party nor is concerned by the Modi wave. As a matter of fact, Hooda does not see any Modi wave in Haryana now. He is confident of making a hat trick. His confidence stems from the fact that the other political parties cannot match the Congress and he claims that Haryana is No 1 state in the country so far as the development of the state is concerned. He claims to have beaten the Gujarat model of Development.
Bhupinder Singh Hooda who is a jat has done lot for the welfare of jat community. He has got reservations for the jats in the services and given many benefits to all sections of the people of Haryana.
Hooda has been involved in a number of controversies including the allotment of lands to the son-in-law of Sonia Gandhi, President of the All India Congress Committee. Vadra controversy has rocked the political echelons of the country but Hooda has remained unfazed.
Recently Hooda was involved in a controversy with the Prime Minister Narendra Modi when he was booed down by the crowd at a rally in Rewari. Hooda lodged a strong protest against his hooting and declared that he would never participate in the Prime Minister’s rallies. Modi invited him for a cup of tea next day to pacify him.
Hooda also organized a mammoth rally at Panipat where he gave a call to the Haryanavis to take revenge for his insult in the Vidhan Sabha poll.KS-Chawla-Profile-F
In order to mollify the detractors of Hooda, the Congress high command has setup a committee for these election of the candidates for the assembly poll. This committee is headed by Captain Ajay Singh who is his detractor and consists of all anti Hooda people.
Hooda also struck another political milestone when he passed the Haryana Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee to win over the Sikhs of Haryana. Despite hue and cry from the Badals, Haryana has got a separate Gurdwara Committee to manage the affairs of the Sikh shrines in Haryana.
Although BJP leadership claims there is a Modieuphoria prevailing in the country, yet the BJP leadership has not been able to announce a Chief Ministerial candidate for Haryana. There is a strong infighting among the BJP leaders of Haryana and the entry of Congressmen into BJP has further complicated the issue. The Haryana BJP leaders have resented the entry of the Congressmen into party fold. Leaders like Birender Singh and Rao Inderjit Singh are serious contenders for the Chief Ministership of Haryana. They have left the Congress only to become Chief Minister. Will any one of them succeed in their mission only time will tell. Haryana is all set to witness some more political developments before the start of the election process.
KS Chawla is a senior journalist.
He can be reached at 9988644244