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Kurukshetra, the battlefield for ‘outsiders’

April 25, 2019 05:48 AM

COURTESY TOI APRIL 25

Kurukshetra, the battlefield for ‘outsiders’
Manvir.Saini@timesgroup.com

Chandigarh:

Kurukshetra is apparently the place that brings glory to people who never lived here. This was true even in the days of Mahabharat when the battle between Kauravas and Pandavas of Hastinapura was fought here. In recent times, Kurukshetra has become a political battle ground for outsiders, if one goes by battle of ballots being fought here in the 11general elections held so far.


This year too the trend seems to continue. The three major candidates are outsiders. Nirmal Singh of Congress is from Ambala cantonment, Arjun Chautala is from Sirsa and Nayab Singh Saini from Ambala. D D Sharma of Jannayak Janta Party comes from Kurukshetra parliamentary constituency, not Kurukshetra city.

Except for 1989, 1998 and 1999, when locals had the privilege of being elected to the Lok Sabha, all the MPs elected so far are outsiders. In 1989, Gurdayal Singh Saini had won for Janta Dal, in 1998 Kailasho Saini had won for Haryana Lok Dal and in 1999 Kailasho Saini was re-elected for the Indian National Lok Dal.

Prominent among outsiders who have been elected from here include Gulzari Lal Nanda, who contested and won elections during the period of joint Punjab.

Raghbir Singh, a resident of Karnal, was the first MP in 1977. Manohar Lal from Naranaul was the elected MP in 1980. In 1991, Tara Singh was voted in, industrialist-turned-politician O P Jindal in 1996 and his son Navin Jindal in 2004 and 2009, Raj Kumar Saini, who comes from Naraingarh sub division of Ambala, in 2014.

Senior leaders of all major political parties remained inaccessible for comments. However, unwilling to be identified, local senior leaders of the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Dal (BJP) have expressed their hurt at being ignored by the party high command.

“We had protested when Raj Kumar Saini was picked in 2014. We could not do more, and now another outsider has come. We have to face people, and not the candidate or the outsiders,” said a district-level BJP leader from Kaithal.

Similarly, another senior leader from Congress also said he was dropped, because the party went ahead and zeroed in on Nirmal Singh.

“We see his candidature as political understanding, as we had so many good leaders after Jindal who refused to contest. Let us see how he fares now,” said the senior Congress leader

 
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