Caste plays important role in selection of candidates | chandigarh | Hindustan Times
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Caste plays important role in selection of candidates

If the past electoral trends are any indication, caste factor once again seems to a deciding factor behind the selection of candidates by various political parties from Gharaunda assembly segment.

chandigarh Updated: Sep 23, 2014 14:09 IST
Vishal Joshi

If the past electoral trends are any indication, caste factor once again seems to a deciding factor behind the selection of candidates by various political parties from Gharaunda assembly segment.

Political observers say candidates from different castes had been elected from this multi-caste assembly segment. In the past elections, it was the combination of various castes that majorly impacted the victory of candidates. Voters from Jat, Ror and Rajput communities are said to be in equal strength, while the constituency also has a number of voters from Brahmin, Punjabi and Bania communities and backward class. Part of Karnal parliamentary constituency, Gharaunda is a rural segment being represented by the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) leader Narender Sangwan, a Jat.

Sangwan (45) has again been fielded by the INLD, while the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has named Harvinder Kalyan. Other parties are yet to announce their candidates.

Known for his accessibility, Sangwan’s influence had risen recently after his brother Harinder Sangwan was elected as zila parishad chairman early this year. However, being a legislator from the main opposition party he was not able to get major development project to the assembly segment in the last five years.

In the 2009 assembly elections, Sangwan had won the Gharaunda seat by defeating Congress candidate Varinder Rathore, a Rajput, by a thin margin of 1,660 votes.

Sangwan polled 35,256 votes as against 33,596 votes by Rathore.

A political turncoat, Harvinder Kalyan, who had recently quit the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), was declared a BJP candidate on Saturday night. Kalyan, a Ror leader, had recently joined the BJP. He had started his political career with the Congress and owing to his loyalty to late Bhajan Lal, he later joined the Haryana Janhit Congress (HJC).

Later, Kalyan quit the HJC and unsuccessfully contested the 2009 assembly election on BSP ticket and got 29,232 votes. A new entrant into the party fold, Kalyan was preferred over old BJP activist Vedpal. A former national general secretary of the Youth Congress, Rathore is the frontrunner for the Congress ticket. Four-time legislator and prominent Rajput leader Jai Singh Rana is expected to be the candidate of the Haryana Janhit Congress. The BJP is hoping to do better after its impressive gain vote share in the LS election.