In a fierce poll battle, INLD candidate Sumitra Devi, widow of five-time Badli MLA and former minister Dhir Pal Singh, has thrown up a serious challenge to Bharatiya Janata Party’s nominee Om Prakash Dhankar and Naresh Sharma, who is sitting Congress MLA.
Despite being elected as MLA on INLD ticket, Dhir Pal had called off his ties unceremoniously in the last phase of his life and joined the Congress. However, after her husband’s death, Sumitra chose to return to the INLD fold.
In the absence of Dhir Pal, Congress’ Naresh Sharma, who won from here in 2009, and BJP Kisan Morcha chief Om Prakash Dhankar, who lost Lok Sabha poll against chief minister’s son Deepender Singh Hooda in May, are eyeing the seat this time.
While Dhankar whose native village, Dhakla, falls under Jhajjar district has pinned hopes on the BJP wave, incumbent MLA Naresh Sharma is solely banking on the clout of chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda and his son Deepender Hooda to do an encore.
Badli falls under Rohtak parliamentary constituency, from where Deepender Singh Hooda was the only Congress MP in the state who was able to retain his seat in the Lok Sabha poll when the Modi wave was at its peak.
Dhankar idolises pm
At Chandpur village, in a veiled attack on ruling Congress regime while addressing a public meeting, BJP candidate Dhankar says he wants to be in politics for a mission not for commission. Missing out on the MS Swaminathan commission report, a cause he championed during the Lok Sabha polls, the senior BJP leader said the saffron party ruled states were better off than Haryana.
Dhankar said it was a matter of good fortune that the country has a leader like Narendra Modi as Prime Minister and Haryana’s interest lies in strengthening his hands to ensure development.
INLD nominee banks on husband’s legacy
Reaching Silani village late evening, with a music system installed in a vehicle of the cavalcade playing songs eulogising jailed party supremo OP Chautala, INLD candidate Sumitra Devi gets a rousing reception. She told HT that it was in fact rapport her husband established with people here that made her to take a plunge. “People elected him five times, which gave confidence to INLD to field me,” she added.
Cong candidate runs for cover
Incumbent MLA Naresh Sharma of the Congress had to curtail his public meetings after facing the heat from voters in this rural-dominated assembly segment for remaining absent from the constituency for majority of his term. A supporter of Sharma said voters of Badli segment have a peculiar habit of lashing out at candidates like they used to do with Dhir Pal, but they would support him on the polling day.