A number of political stalwarts and bigwigs had to bite the dust in the 2014 Haryana assembly elections. While many of them belonged to established political parties, there were others like Venod Sharma and Gopal Kanda who had floated their own political outfits and were hoping to cash in on the multi-cornered contests in a majority of seats. The future of some of these politicians looks under cloud and it may take a while for them to be back in reckoning.
Capt Ajay Singh Yadav: Flip-flop costs him dear
Capt Yadav’s loss was the biggest shocker for the Congress camp. The six-time MLA from Rewari in southern Haryana lost this time by about 50,000 votes to finish third.
The Ahir leader is known for blowing hot and cold. While he was often critical of chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda and his policies, his tendency of make a somersault often left his supporters bemused. Just before the assembly polls, he resigned from the council of ministers only to make a flip-flop a few days later. His such actions conveyed an impression of non-seriousness and duplicity and he probably paid a price for it in the polls. With the Congress getting routed in southern Haryana, Capt Yadav stares at a tough time ahead.
Venod Sharma: Future uncertain
A former close pal of chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda, Sharma quit the Congress before the Lok Sabha polls. While his plans to join Kuldeep Bishnoi’s Haryana Janhit Congress (HJC) got stalled following opposition from the BJP, then an ally of the HJC, Sharma floated his own outfit, Haryana Jan Chetna Party (HJCP) to contest assembly polls in alliance with Bishnoi. Not only the party drew a blank in the assembly polls, both Sharma and his wife, Shakti Rani, too, lost. The entrepreneur-politician faces an uncertain political future following the poll debacle.
Mahender Pratap Singh: Big defeat
The veteran Congressman was reluctant to contest this time and wanted a ticket for his son instead. His defeat from Badhkal by over 35,000 votes has come as a setback for the soft-spoken politician.
Dushyant Chautala: Still an MP
The Hisar MP would have liked to hold on to its 50,000 plus lead he got from Uchana Kalan assembly segment during 2014 Lok Sabha polls. But his loss to Congressman turned BJP leader Birender Singh’s better half, Prem Lata by over 7,400 votes came as a shock. With age on his side, the young Chautala can take comfort from the fact that there will be a tomorrow and he stays as an MP.
Ashok Arora: Lost to first-timer
One of the biggest INLD losses besides Dushyant, Arora who is the state president of the INLD was quick to put in his papers after losing to first-timer Subhash Sudha by over 25,000 votes from Thanesar. The loyalist, however, is likely to be appointed again as the state INLD president.
Ram Pal Majra: Troubled by Independent
A clear shocker for the INLD. Majra lost to Congress rebel Jai Prakash who defeated him by over 8,000 votes despite contesting as an Independent from Kalayat. Majra who won from Kalayat in 2009 was being asked by the party to shift out of Kalayat but resisted hard to stay back. His defeat has left him shell shocked requiring an evaluation of his future political strategy.
Chander Mohan: Setback for Lal’s son
For the elder son of late chief minister Bhajan Lal, who was contesting from Nalwa was his first political venture outside Kalka. The former deputy CM’s loss to INLD’s Ranbir Prajapati by over 7,000 votes has come as a big setback to his already fading political career. While his younger brother and HJC chief, Kuldeep Bishnoi won from Adampur, Chander Mohan’s loss puts him completely out of circulation.
Vandana Sharma: Lost a tough battle
Sister of Union minister Sushma Swaraj, Vandana was expected to win hands down but lost to an Independent by about 1,400 votes in a tough three-cornered contest. Her loss from Safidon in Jind district also underlined the fact it will take a lot from the saffron party to establish itself in the Jat heartland. Sharma, for whom it was debut election, will probably have to wait for another five years to have a go.