Being young mattered in the Lok Sabha elections. However, besides INLD’s youngest candidate Dushyant Chautala, only one of the four young candidates of Congress, Deepender Hooda turned the tide, while three others were routed in the elections.
First-timer Dushyant, 26, the youngest MP ever, trounced the sitting MP Kuldeep Bishnoi, 46, son of former chief minister Bhajan Lal, by a margin of over 31,000 votes. Bishnoi was two-time MP and an MLA for as many tenures, apparently fell to anti-incumbency.
In the Bhiwani-Mahendergarh constituency, sitting MP Shruti Chaudhry, 38, grand-daughter of former chief minister Bansi Lal, was trounced by former MLA Dharambir, by a margin of over 1.29 lakh votes.
Dharambir had recently quit Congress to fight Shruti on the BJP ticket. The shock was that Shruti finished third while the former INLD MLA Rao Bahadur, second. Infighting in the Congress and anti-incumbency factors, besides Modi-wave, did her in.
Amid the Modi wave and the anti-incumbency factor, the rout of another young Congress candidate and sitting MP Naveen Jindal, 44, from Kurukshetra, was not unforeseen either. Not the defeat but Jindal’s sliding to the third slot, was also seen as coming.
While BJP’s former MLA Raj Kumar Saini, who garnered over 4.18 votes, defeated INLD’s Balbir Saini by over 1,29 lakh votes, Jindal finished third with a total of only about 2.8 lakh votes.
The anti-incumbency and severe infighting in the Congress, did the Haryana Pradesh Congress Committee president and sitting MP from Sirsa Ashok Tanwar, 38, in. He lost to first- timer and former MLA Charanjeet Singh Rori of INLD by a margin of 1.15 lakh votes.