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Haryana

BJP Counts On Turncoats

September 22, 2019 06:39 AM

COURTESY TIMES OF INDIA SEPT 22

Trickle Of ‘Dal Badlus’ Has Become A Deluge
BJP Counts On Turncoats
Ajay.Sura@timesgroup.com

Chandigarh:

Haryana, also known as land of ‘Aaya Rams and Gaya Rams”, has witnessed the highest number of defections even in the run up to the state assembly elections, dates for which were announced on Saturday. Five MLAs were even disqualified by Haryana speaker Kanwar Pal Gujjar recently under the anti-defection law for shifting their loyalties without resigning from the parent party.


One of the MLAs, Naseem Ahmad, who was elected on INLD ticket, initially switched his loyalty to the Congress but within a few days of joining the party, he switched to the BJP. Quite obviously, the incumbent BJP was the first choice of ‘dal badlus’ (turncoats) in the state. It remains to be seen as to how many of these turncoats get party ticket to contest.

The Congress too managed to attract some prominent leaders like Ashok Arora and Jai Prakash. The Congress, which was third biggest party with 15 MLAs in the state assembly after 2014 assembly polls, also gained and its number reached 17 after Haryana Janhit Congress (HJC) MLAs, Kuldeep Bishnoi and his wife Renuka Bishnoi, merged their party with the Congress.

Newly-formed Jannayak Janata Party (JJP), which came into being after split in the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD), however, could not attract any of these defectors except those who were loyal to Ajay Chautala in the INLD. Once the state’s main opposition party, INLD remained the biggest loser, as not only top leaders of the party switched their loyalty to other outfits but the number of its MLAs reduced to three from the original 19. Except Abhay Singh Chautala, who is younger son of INLD patriarch and former CM O P Chautala, INLD has not been left with any senior leader in the state’s politics.

Four of the five Independent MLAs elected to 13th state assembly also switched their loyalties to the saffron party. Only one, Jai Prakash from Kalayat, preferred to join the Congress. The term ‘Aaya Ram, Gaya Ram’ which is widely used across India for politicians switching their loyalties is related to a politician from Haryana.

A Haryana assembly legislator in 1967, Gaya Lal, changed his political loyalty thrice in a day, just months after Haryana was carved out of Punjab (on November 1, 1966) and the state held its first assembly election. Interestingly, his son Uday Bhan, an Independent MLA from Hassanpur, also faced charges under the antidefection law for allegedly joining the Congress in 2004.

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