JIND: Jannayak Janata Party (JJP), formed after the recent split in the INLD, Thursday fielded Digvijay Singh Chautala for the Jind assembly bypoll in Haryana, setting the scene for a prestige battle in the constituency where Congress leader Randeep Singh Surjewala is also in the fray.
The seat will now see a multi-cornered contest between the ruling BJP, the Congress, the main opposition Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) and the new party, JJP.
The bypoll scheduled to be held on January 28 has become a prestige battle for the political parties, especially for the INLD which looks to win back the seat.
Opposition Congress in Haryana has fielded its spokesperson and Kaithal MLA Surejwala, while the INLD is banking on Umed Redhu to retain the seat.
The bypoll was necessitated following the death of INLD MLA Hari Chan Middha, whose son Krishna Middha recently joined the BJP and is the saffron party's candidate for the byelection.
The Jannayak Janata Party (JJP) has put its weight behind Digvijay Chautala, the younger son of jailed leader Ajay Singh Chautala, who broke away from the INLD and floated the party.
The four key contestants filed their nomination papers with a show of strength on Thursday, the last day of filing of papers for the bypoll.
The Jind assembly seat is considered to be pocket burrow of the INLD and the party is banking on Umed Redhu to gain support of the majority Redhu community in the area.
The Congress in Haryana, often seen as a divided house, Thursday showed unity when Surjewala filed his papers.
Key state Congress leaders, including former chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda, state party chief Ashok Tanwar and CLP leader Kiran Chaudhary, were present when their party candidate filed his nomination papers.
Surjewala received a shot in the arm after senior Congress leader and four-time MLA Mange Ram Gupta announced his support to him.
For the JJP, launched last month, winning the byelection will be test.
The party was formed after a split in the INLD following a power struggle between former chief minister Om Prakash Chautala's sons Ajay Chautala and Abhay Singh Chautala.
Digvijay Chautala is younger brother of Hisar MP Dushyant Chautala and president of the Indian National Students Organisation (INSO).
"This bypoll is not limited to Jind. It will depict the whole (political) picture of the state, said Dushyant Chautala, exuding confidence that his fledgling party would register a win in this bypoll. On BJP fielding son Hari Chand Middha's son, Dushyant said, Digvijay is a youth leader and the party will benefit from it. People will support the youth leader in this bypoll. We have nominated the youngest candidate."
On Wednesday, BJP had announced the name of Krishan Middha, whose father's demise in August had necessitated the bypoll.
The Election Commission had on December 31 announced that the bypoll to the Jind assembly seat would be held on January 28 and the results will be out on January 31.
Winning from Jind in Haryana heartland is going to be crucial for the parties with Lok Sabha polls not far away and the state assembly polls also scheduled for the later part of 2019.