Former union minster and senior Congress leader Jai Parkash on Wednesday announced that he was quitting his party to contest as an Independent candidate from Kalayat in the forthcoming Haryana assembly elections.
Speaking at a rally in Kalayat, he said the party had hurt him badly by allotting the ticket for this seat to Ranveer Mann, popularly known as Bobby Mann, in this area. He alleged that the allotment of ticket to Mann was a direct result of a “secret understanding” between Haryana minister and Kaithal MLA Randeep Singh Sujrewala and Kalayat INLD MLA Rampal Majra, who was contesting again for this seat.
He said the purpose behind allotting the ticket to Mann was to ensure Majra’s victory, and in return, the INLD MLA would clandestinely support Surjewala in the neighbouring constituency of Kaithal.
Jai Parkash said any survey would show that he had better chances of winning from Kalayat as compared to Mann. The legislator in the outgoing assembly said he was deeply hurt by the decision of the party as he had been serving as its faithful soldier. “I he had always agreed to contest from any seat from where my party wanted, including once from Adampur. However, the decision of the party to ignore my claim for Kalayat ticket is totally unacceptable,”said Jai Parkash, adding that his supporters had advised him not to join any other party and contest as an Independent.
Earlier, Jai Parkash had convened a meeting of his supporters at Kalayat to garner their support for parting ways from the Congress. He asked the participants to raise their hands if they wanted him to contest as an Independent and the crowd answered in affirmative. The rally was attended by a sizeable number of people.
In the 2009 assembly elections, Ram Pal Majra had defeated Bobby’s father and Congress candidate Tejinder Pal Singh Mann. The latter died of a heart attack last year. Thereafter, Bobby had been trying hard to get the Congress ticket for this seat and was constantly touring the constituency to make contacts.
Jai Parkash was a hardcore loyalist of Om Parkash Chautala's party for several years, before he sprang a surprise by quitting the party and joining the Congress a few years ago. His decision to contest from Kalayat is likely to change the equations for this seat and make it one of the key contests to watch.