CHANDIGARH: The dream of the main Opposition Indian National Lok Dal (INLD), which was seeking to return to power after a decade of wilderness, were dashed. However, two members of the Chautala family gained seats.For INLD supremo and former Chief Minister Om Parkash Chautala, who is behind bars, it was a do-or-die battle and the “sympathy” factor did not work.
The party was hoping to do well, after it alleged that Chautala, 79, who is in Tihar jail, undergoing a 10-year sentence in the teachers’ recruitment scandal, had been victimised. Chautala, who criss-crossed the state, after getting bail on health grounds, could not raise the sagging morale of his party, which ended with 19 seats, or 24.1 per cent vote share. The party could not even cling to it’s present tally of 31 seats. The party had fielded 88 candidates in the fray. While senior INLD leader Abhay Singh Chautala won his Ellenabad constituency, INLD’s Naina Singh Chautala, wife of party’s senior leader Ajay Singh Chautala, who is currently serving prison term in JBT scam case, won from Dabwali seat. Naina is the first woman from the Devi Lal clan to have contested the polls.
However, Dushyant Chautala, the INLD’s Hisar MP and grandson of Om Prakash, suffered defeat at the hands of BJP’s Prem Lata Singh, wife of senior saffron party leader Birender Singh, who defeated him from Uchana Kalan seat.