Haryana assembly polls: Heavyweights raise the stakes in Banger land | chandigarh | Hindustan Times
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Haryana assembly polls: Heavyweights raise the stakes in Banger land

chandigarh Updated: Oct 01, 2014 19:14 IST
Sat Singh

Ignored during the nine-year Congress regime, the Banger land (Jind) of the state has become a preferred destination of political heavyweights who have thrown their hats in the poll ring from here to change their political fortunes.

In the 2009 assembly polls, all the five seats — Uchana Kalan, Narwana, Safidon, Jind and Julana in Jind were won by the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD).

Uchana Kalan assembly segment, which is presently being represented by leader of opposition and INLD supremo Om Prakash Chautala, witnesses another member of the Devi Lal clan, Hisar MP Dushyant Chautala, entering the fray this time.

Wife of prominent Banger area leader and former finance minister Birender Singh, Prem Lata is the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) candidate from Uchana Kalan, a stronghold of Birender Singh, who affixes Dumerkhan (his native village) to his name.

Bahujan Samaj Party’s chief ministerial candidate and former Karnal MP Arvind Sharma has added a new dimension to the assembly poll contest after he surprisingly filed his nomination from Julana segment that comes under Sonepat Lok Sabha seat.

An Independent candidate in the 1996 Lok Sabha polls, Sharma was elected to Parliament from Sonepat, which had Julana, Safidon and Jind assembly segments part of it.

Besides these veterans, Vandana Sharma, the saffron party candidate from Safidon assembly segment in Jind district, is the sister of union external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj.

For the last two years, Birender Singh, grandson of iconic farmer’s leader Sir Chottu Ram, who lost to OP Chautala from Uchana Kalan in 2009, had fired salvos against chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda over lopsided development and ignoring interests of Jind district.

After the conviction of former CM Chautala in January 2013 in the 1999-2000 JBT teachers’ recruitment scam, the party conducted its first rally in Jind last year to spew venom against the Congress for jailing Chautala and his Dabwali MLA-son Ajay Chautala.

Weeks before the state goes to polls on October 15, the INLD, on last Thursday, held a function to commemorate its founder Chaudhary Devi Lal’s 100th birth anniversary at Jind. Chautala, who had sought special permission to visit the rally, vowed to take oath as chief minister from Tihar jail.

Similarly, Birender Singh, who organised a rally in Jind last month when he switched sides to the saffron party after ending his four decades of association with the Congress, accused his former party of ignoring his claim for the chief minister’s post.

Singh, who is apparently harbouring the dream of becoming CM even in the saffron party, has managed to get at least four tickets — Kalayat, Narwana, Uchana Kalan and Julana — to his supporters, after proving his mettle before the BJP’s central leadership.

Arvind Sharma, a new entrant in the electoral politics of Banger land, supposedly wants to dominate the poll scenario in Julana segment as non-Jat face against Jat faces fielded by established political outfits. The INLD has fielded Parminder Dhull, while Congress has named Dharmender Dhull and Sanjeev Buana is the BJP candidate.

A section of the BJP believes that allotment of ticket to Vandana Sharma, a political greenhorn and a retired government lecturer from Safidon, is the strategy of the saffron party to pave way for Sushma Swaraj as chief ministerial candidate, if the party is voted to power in ensuing elections.