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Chautala failed to gauge gravity of family feud

November 06, 2018 06:46 AM


Chautala failed to gauge gravity of family feud
Sushil Manav

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 5

With INLD patriarch Om Prakash Chautala’s elder son Ajay Chautala, who came out of Tihar Jail on Monday on parole, showing no signs of rapprochement in the family feud, an imminent split now stares at the party ahead of the 2019 elections.
The 22-year-old party is to contest Parliamentary elections in the state within six months and Assembly elections by October next year.

Before these elections, the party faces a daunting task of contesting the bypoll for Jind Assembly seat which fell vacant due to the death of INLD MLA Hari Chand Midha in October this year.

To add to the party’s miseries, Midha’s son Krishan Midha, whom the INLD had planned to field on the seat vacated by his father, has joined the BJP due to the party’s family feud.

The fact that a family feud occurred in the party headed by Chautala has baffled its old supporters, as the former CM has always run the affairs of the party with an iron grip with zero tolerance towards indiscipline.

Further, given Chautala’s own efforts to take control over his father Devi Lal’s political legacy by sidelining his brother Ranjit Singh in late 1980s and early 1990s, it is hard to imagine that he did not anticipate the current crisis.

Things were going well for the INLD and it was hoping to return to power in 2014 when suddenly a court order in January 2013 sealed the party’s fate and sent its two top leaders — Chautala and his son Ajay Singh — to jail for 10 years in the JBT recruitment scam.

It came upon Abhay Singh, who had always played second fiddle to his elder brother till then, to save the party from disintegrating under those trying circumstances.

However, Abhay not only kept the INLD intact, but also managed to win 20 seats (19 INLD and 1 SAD) to earn the largest Opposition party status in the Assembly polls in October 2014.

Before this, the INLD managed to stop strong Modi wave in Sirsa and Hisar and won both the seats in the Parliamentary elections in May 2014.

Dushyant Chautala, who won Hisar Parliamentary seat, became the youngest MP in the Parliament and gradually developed a strong support base among youths, particularly in Hisar.

With this, Team Dushyant, mostly comprising of youths, became active on social media where they started projecting their youth leader as the future CM.

Sources say these issues were brought to Chautala’s notice, but he is said to have ignored this by saying that social media cannot be taken seriously.

The sources said slogans for Dushyant as CM were first raised in the presence of Abhay on August 5 on the foundation day of the INSO.

During the INLD’s rally to commemorate the birth anniversary of Devi Lal on October 7, the sloganeering was repeated and Abhay was jeered in the presence of former Gujarat CM Shankersinh Vaghela and helpless looking party patriarch Chautala

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