Three Chautalas vie for Hisar LS seat

Although the three Chautalas have been following separate political paths, this is the first time they are contesting from the same seat.
Sunaina Chautala (left), Ranjit Singh Chautala, and Naina Chautala
Sunaina Chautala (left), Ranjit Singh Chautala, and Naina ChautalaIllustration: Mandar Pardikar

CHANDIGARH: High drama is unfolding in Haryana’s Hisar Lok Sabha constituency, where three members of the influential Chautala family are locked in a multi-cornered fight. Two are bahus (daughters-in-law) while the third is a chacha-sasur (uncle-in-law).

Indian National Lok Dal candidate Sunaina Chautala, wife of Ravi Chautala who is the son of INLD supremo Om Prakash Chautala’s younger brother late Pratap Singh Chautala, is pitted against Jannayak Janta Party (JJP)’s Naina Chautala, wife of JJP chief Ajay Singh Chautala, another son of Om Prakash Chautala. And taking on both of them is BJP’s Ranjit Singh Chautala, who is none other than the brother of Om Prakash Chautala.

While the three close relatives are fighting among themselves, the Congress has fielded three-time MP Jai Prakash as its candidate. Although the three Chautalas have been following separate political paths, this is the first time they are contesting from the same seat.

Naina, 57, is the mother of ex-Haryana deputy CM Dushyant Chautala while Sunaina, 47, is the general secretary of INLD’s women’s wing. Ranjit, 78, son of former deputy prime minister Devi Lal, is an independent MLA who joined the BJP recently.

While the Chautala family contest has evoked much curiosity, the candidates are unfazed. “It is not a family war but a battle of principles,” says Sunaina, adding: “The main issues we are focusing on are inflation, unemployment, and water crisis.”

Naina, a two-time MLA, is credited with holding statewide all-women rallies to create political awareness among women. She believes her rapport with women voters will swing the result in her favour. However, Ranjit asserts the BJP is poised to win all the 10 Lok Sabha seats in Haryana, just like last time, on the back of the Modi wave.

As for Congress’ Prakash, he claims he has better connect with the people. In 1989, he had won the Hisar LS seat as a Janata Dal candidate and served as Union Minister. In 1996, he again won from Hisar on Haryana Vikas Party ticket. Later, he joined the Congress and got elected as the Hisar MP in 2004.

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