Plenty is at stake for the three rivals– the Congress, the INLD and the HJC-BJP as over 13 lakh voters including about 6 lakh females get ready to exercise their franchise on Thursday in a byelection to elect the member of parliament from the Hisar constituency. The counting takes place on October 17. The seat fell vacant following the demise of former chief minister and Haryana Janhit Congress (HJC) leader, Bhajan Lal in June. Two Jats -- Congress candidate Jai Prakash (56 and INLD nominee Ajay Chautala (50) are locked in a tough triangular contest with a non Jat, the HJC-BJP candidate Kuldeep Bishnoi (43).
While for the HJC-BJP nominee Kuldeep Bishnoi, his own political future and longevity of the HJC-BJP alliance will be at stake, it’s a severe test of repute and ability for the Congress candidate Jai Prakash who has successively lost a Lok Sabha (Hisar) and an assembly (Adampur) poll in 2009. For the INLD candidate Ajay Chautala, his own and party’s standing, particularly in the light of the CBI cases against the Chautala family will be under scrutiny.
In a bypoll where caste equations have surpassed other issues, the contest is being billed as a test of strength between the Jats and the non-Jats. The Hisar Parliamentary constituency has roughly 4.60 lakh Jat voters constituting the single largest caste. Among the non-Jats, there are about 80,000 Brahmins, 2.65 lakh backward classes, 2.57 lakh scheduled castes, 65,000 Punjabis, 45,000 Banias and 36,000 Bishnoi.
Former chief minister Bhajan Lal of Haryana Janhit Congress won the seat in 2009 general election by a margin of about 7,000 votes. Lal got 2.48 lakh votes while Sampat Singh of the INLD got 2.41 lakh votes. Jai Prakash of the Congress finished third securing 2.04 lakh votes.
The Hisar Parliamentary constituency has nine segments – Uchana Kalan (1.67 lakh votes), Adampur (1.35 lakh votes), Uklana (1.59 lakh votes), Narnaund (1.66 lakh votes), Hansi (1.46 lakh votes), Barwala (1.35 lakh votes), Hisar (1.30 lakh votes), Nalwa (1.32 lakh votes) and Bawani Khera (1.57 lakh votes).
In the 2009 general elections, Bhajan Lal of the HJC had led in 6 segments – Adampur, Hisar, Hansi, Barwala, Nalwa, Bawani Khera while Sampat Singh of the INLD had led in the remaining three – Uchana Kalan, Uklana, Narnaund. However, in the 2009 assembly polls, the Congress managed to win five seats – Hisar, Barwala, Uklana, Bawani Khera and Nalwa. The INLD (Uchana Kalan and Narnaund) and the HJC (Adampur and Hansi) won two each.