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दिल्ली की पूर्व मुख्यमंत्री और कांग्रेस नेता शीला दीक्षित का 81 वर्ष की आयु में दिल्ली में निधन हो गयाFormer Delhi Chief Minister & Congress leader Sheila Dikshit, passes away in Delhi at the age of 81 yearसोनभद्र संग्राम: डीएम बोले- स्थिति सामान्य होने पर हटा देंगे धारा 144, घटना से जुड़े 29 गिरफ्तारचुनार से वाराणसी के लिए निकलीं प्रियंका, काशी विश्वनाथ-काल भैरव मंदिर में करेंगी पूजाचारा घोटाला में सजायाफ्ता लालू प्रसाद यादव से मिलने पहुंचे तेजस्वी यादवराष्ट्रपति ने मध्यप्रदेश, बिहार,उत्तरप्रदेश, पश्चिमी बंगाल,त्रिपुरा और नागालैंड के नए राज्यपाल नियुक्त किएजम्मू-कश्मीर: पुंछ में पाकिस्‍तान की ओर से सीजफायर उल्‍लंघन, गोलीबारी में एक नागरिक घायलगाजियाबाद: सेल्स टैक्स की तीसरी मंजिल में लगी भयंकर आग, खंड 15 व 16 के रिकॉर्ड जले


March 25, 2019 07:00 AM


The outcome of Lok Sabha elections in 4 constituencies will, possibly, be an indicator to what’s in store for which party when Haryana votes for a new assembly later this year. These are either strongholds, home towns or constituencies of top leaders cutting across party lines. Manvir Saini gets the low-down...
Protecting the Hooda family stronghold

Deepender Hooda (Rohtak)

Of the 16 Lok Sabha elections held in Rohtak to date, Congress has won 11 times, with Deepender, his ex-CM father Bhupinder Singh Hooda, and grandfather Ranbir Singh Hooda winning nine times.

This year, all parties are gunning for three-time MP Deepender. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is on the lookout for a strong local face and has expanded its search to the seer of a local math (sect), a khap leader and even celebrities. There is talk of the party planning to field Olympics bronze medallist Yogeshwar Dutt.

In his first byelection from Rohtak in September 2005, Deepender defeated the present finance minister of Haryana, Captain Abhimanyu, by 2.3 lakh votes and has not suffered a defeat since. Even the Modi wave of 2014 could not dislodge him, and he won by a lakh votes. The Indian National Lok Dal (INLD), theh Jannayak Janata Party (JJP) and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) are also looking to topple the Hoodas. But supporters feel Deepender will win again. “Yeh mungeri lal kay haseen sapne hai (rivals are day-dreaming); they have been trying this for decades,’’ says Ran Singh Maan, a Hooda supporter.


BJP leaders feel that time is over for the Hooda family in Rohtak. “Things have changed now; look at the results of civic and mayoral elections. They (Hoodas) are not as popular as earlier,’’ says BJP’s Rajiv Jain, media adviser to Haryana CM Manohar Lal Khattar.

Fight for new party and his political future

Dushyant Chautala (Hisar)

The youngest MP in the 16th Lok Sabha, Dushyant Chautala, overcame the Modi wave of 2014 by defeating two-time MP Kuldeep Bishnoi by 31,000 votes in Hisar. But things are different now: Then, Dushyant was the candidate of his ex-CM grandfather Om Prakash Chautala’s INLD; now, he will be fighting for his own party, JJP, and against his grandfather.

Dushyant faces major challenges this time too. Apart from Bishnoi and his son Bhavya, who could be the Congress’s choice, he will fight the might of his uncle, INLD MLA Abhay Chautala, and his grandfather. As a JJP-backed candidate, Dushyant’s brother, Digvijay, was unsuccessful in the Jind byelection in January this year, but was able to get more votes than former MLA Hari Chand Midha, INLD candidate from the seat.

In the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, because of his grandfather’s ties with former Punjab CM Parkash Singh Badal, Dushyant also had the backing of the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD). Even Badal campaigned for him then. JJP leader O P Sihag says the lack of INLD and SAD support won’t affect Dushyant. “Old and young see former deputy PM (and Dushyant’s great grandfather) Devi Lal in him. He has been accessible to all and has practised the right kind of politics. That is why he is a leader of the masses at this age,’’ he says.


Congress says Dushyant will lose in Hisar. “He has so many opponents that it will be smooth sailing for us,” says Tarun Bhandari, a Congress leader.

Out of BJP, he faces litmus test in Kurukshetra

Raj Kumar Saini (Kurukshetra)

As a BJP candidate in 2014, Raj Kumar Saini beat INLD’s Balbir Singh Saini and Congress’s industrialistpolitician Navin Jindal by 1.3 lakh votes. This time, Saini — who had a bitter separation with BJP over his campaign against the Jat community’s demand for reservation and over his accusing the saffron party of ignoring backward classes — will be fighting for his own outfit, Loktantra Suraksha Party (LSP).

For the polls, LSP has allied with Mayawati-led Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP). His outfit will fight from Kurukshetra and Mahendergarh-Bhiwani seats, while the tie-up partner will have the remaining eight constituencies of the state.

For Saini, this election will be a litmus test for his party’s future. A source in LSP said he could field a member of his family from Kurukshetra as he himself was planning to contest the assembly polls later this year and had been projecting himself as a CM candidate.


All political rivals will be making an effort to stop LSP from winning in Kurukshetra. While BJP is likely to bank on a sitting minister or Ladwa MLA Pawan Saini, Congress might field a heavyweight from Kurukshetra. “Last time, he made it to the Lok Sabha because of the Modi wave. But now he doesn’t stand anywhere. You have seen this in Jind byelection and rest would be seen now,’ says Rajiv Jain, advisor to Haryana CM Manohar Lal Khattar.

For CM Khattar, Karnal a matter of prestige

Manohar Lal Khattar (Karnal)

Winning this Lok Sabha constituency has become a matter of prestige for chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar, especially after the BJP won the civic and mayoral elections in Karnal and Panipat cities, which fall under the parliamentary seat, in December last year.

In the two cities, Khattar had strategised for the BJP and helped it make a clean sweep in both. The BJP’s mayoral candidate, Avneet Kaur, won by a record margin in Panipat. Khattar is the MLA from Karnal, one of the eight assembly constituencies which fall under the Lok Sabha seat.

BJP’s Ashwini Chopra won the last Lok Sabha election from Karnal, but the party is unlikely to field him. Chopra had defeated Congress’s Arvind Sharma at the time. Though Sharma has now joined the BJP, his chances of contesting from the seat are dicey and the party is planning to field a heavyweight. Buoyed by the civic poll results, Khattar has already made an announcement that Karnal would be a cakewalk for any BJP candidate.


Congress leader Kuldeep Sharma says Karnal won’t be a cakewalk for BJP. “You cannot compare the civic polls to Lok Sabha elections. Unfulfilled promises, jumlas (frauds) and unaddressed issues of unemployment and lawlessness are still staring Khattar in his face. They are banking on Pulwama for votes, but the entire country is aware of the ground realities,” he says

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