Panipat rural: Possible Hooda versus Malik

  • Vishal Joshi, Hindustan Times, Panipat
  • Updated: Sep 24, 2014 14:50 IST

If recent media reports are to be believed, chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda may contest from Panipat Rural constituency also, apart from Garhi Sampla-Kiloi.

While the Congress is yet to announce candidates for the Haryana Assembly Polls, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) have started intense campaigning.

BJP’s Mahipal Dhanda, a youth Jat leader and president of the party’s Kisan Morcha, is a political greenhorn.

But, the INLD’s Nishan Singh Malik is a seasoned politician.

It is speculated that Hooda may prefer to contest from the rural constituency which has a sizeable number of Jats.

However, former director of Pt Bhagwat Dayal Sharma University of Health Sciences (UHS) SS Sangwan is also said to be eyeing the ticket.

In July this year, Sangwan, who has no known political background, resigned from the Rohtak-based university.

Panipat Rural was formed in 2009 by dividing the Panipat assembly segment, which is a part of the Karnal parliamentary constituency.

Traditionally, Panipat has remained a Congress bastion where Punjabi leader Balbir Pal Shah wields influence.

Currently, the segment is represented by an independent Om Prakash Jain, who supported the Hooda government in 2009. He was appointed as transport minister, but had to quit after a controversy.

Though Jain is said to be in the race for the Congress ticket from the segment, a pending criminal case in which he was accused for abetting the suicide of a former sarpanch of a Karnal village, may hamper his prospects. Two-time legislator Jain was arrested by the CBI in connection with the case and is currently out on bail.

Veteran Congress leader Prasanni Devi, who had unsuccessfully contested the 2009 polls, is also seen as a ticket aspirant.

However, during the recently-held parliamentary polls, the BJP performed impressively with the party’s Ashwini Kumar Chopra ‘Minna’ polling 77,083 votes, while Congress candidate (now a BSP leader) Arvind Sharma got only 24,006 votes.

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