CHANDIGARH: Haryana's main opposition party, the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD), could be heading for a split, with the fight within the family of its President Om Prakash Chautala coming out in the open on Monday.
Chautala's elder son Ajay Chautala, who came out from the Tihar Jail on Monday on parole, told his supporters in New Delhi that the next course of action would be decided in the coming days after he completes a tour of Haryana.
Ajay's sons, Hisar MP Dushyant Chautala and Digvijay Chautala, were expelled from the primary membership of the INLD on November 2 by their grandfather O.P. Chautala.
Dushyant was also removed from the post of leader of the INLD Parliamentary Board.
"I am quite surprised to see the affairs of the party (INLD). We will fight this situation. We will decide the next course of action in coming days," Ajay Chautala said in Delhi.
Dushyant and Digvijay are great-grandsons of former Deputy Prime Minister Devi Lal.
The action follows recent activities of both youth leaders and their supporters who were trying to project Dushyant as a Chief Ministerial face in Assembly elections in Haryana to be held around October next year.
"Both Dushyant Chautala and Digvijay Singh had been accused of indiscipline, hooliganism and spreading disaffection within the party against the party leadership during the birthday celebrations of Chaudhary Devi Lal in Gohana on October 7," an INLD statement earlier said.
"In view of the fact that Dushyant Chautala and Digvijay Singh were members of his immediate family, it was not an easy decision for him (Chautala senior) to make. But he added that all his life he had followed the principles and ideals of Jana Nayak Chaudhary Devi Lal, for whom the party was always bigger than the individual or any family member.
"Thus he had to make a choice between the party and members of his family and he had chosen the party and decided to concur with the conclusions of the Disciplinary Committee. Accordingly, he had instructed the party office that his decision be immediately put into effect," the statement said.
O.P. Chautala and his elder son Ajay were convicted in the JBT (junior basic teacher) recruitment scam in January 2013. Both were sentenced to 10 years' imprisonment by a CBI court in Delhi. Both cannot contest elections due to the conviction.
The INLD is being managed by Chautala's younger son Abhay Singh Chautala since then.