CHANDIGARH: In a peculiar twist, a split in a regional party in Haryana is directly benefitting two national parties in the Lok Sabha polls. The Jannayak Janata Party (JJP) was formed after it split from the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) thereby giving an advantage to BJP and Congress.
Out of the 10 Lok Sabha seats in the state, the BJP and Congress are neck and neck on nine seats, except in Hisar. In 2014, there was a tie-up between the BJP and Kuldeep Bishnoi’s Haryana Janhit Congress. This helped saffron party garner seven seats, INLD two seats and Congress could manage only one seat. But now the situation in HJC is merged with Congress.
While the saffron party claims that it will win all 10 seats in the state, it clearly enjoys an advantage on two seats. On six other seats, they have a close fight with the Congress and the other two are in jeopardy over internal bickering. On the Gurugram seat Union Minister Rao Inderjit Singh is reportedly safe but the voters of Mewat in his constituency will play a crucial role. From Faridabad Union Minister Krishan Pal Gujjar is facing a tough fight from Avtar Singh Bhadana of Congress.
In Bhiwani and Sonipat, the split in the INLD has given the saffron party an edge. The BJP is banking on the divide between Jat and non-Jat voters, the clean image of Haryana CM Manohar Lal Khattar and the Modi factor. However, farmers and commission agents are upset over the wheat procurement process.
The Haryana CM is of the opinion that there are multiple contests in the state.
“There are multi-cornered contests in the state as there is INLD, JJP-AAP alliance, Congress, BSP and others. We are in a comfortable position,” he says. Also this time the Congress has fielded strong candidates in almost all seats but the party is facing internal turmoil. However, the split in INLD will benefit it in Sirsa and Kurukshetra. Haryana Congress President Ashok Tanwar could have an advantage in Sirsa should the Dera Sacha Sauda support him.
In this state, the urban and rural voters decide which party wins or loses. And the Jats that makeup 25% of the voter base has a direct influence on four seats. The Congress is trying to appease the Jats, while the BJP, considered a party of urban voters, is eyeing the rural belt.
Battle for Sonipat
Digvijay Chautala, younger brother of Dushyant Chautala, is the Jannayak Janta Party candidate from Sonipat. With his entry, both sons of Ajay Chautala— the elder son of former CM OP Chautala who parted ways with Indian National Lok Dal and formed his own party JJP— are contesting this election. On the other hand, Arjun Chautala, grandson of former CM OP Chautala and younger son of Abhay Chautala, are also contesting on party tickets