Punjabi who rose from ranks

  • Vishal Joshi, Hindustan Times, Kurukshetra
  • Updated: Sep 02, 2014 11:17 IST

The four-time Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) legislator from Thanesar, Ashok Arora is considered as one of the most influential leaders outside the Om Prakash Chautala family that runs the party.

A prominent Punjabi face, Arora (55) rose from an ordinary party worker to become the state president of the INLD.

As per his close aides, Arora, who runs a wholesale business of sugar and ghee at Naya Bazaar locality of this holy city, was a member of the sloganraising brigade before he was fielded as the party candidate in the 1990 byelection.

After he registered victory from his home constituency in his first election, Arora became popular among the voters due to his clean image.

Out of six assembly elections, Arora won four times but failed to make a mark in the two Lok Sabha elections he contested.

His easy accessibility and non-controversial image are Arora’s biggest assets.

Following the sentencing of INLD president Om Prakash Chautala, who is also the Leader of Opposition in the assembly, his son and Dabwali MLA Ajay Chautala and deputy leader of INLD legislature party in the assembly Sher Singh Badshami in JBT teachers’ recruitment scandal, Arora who is the state INLD chief became the voice of the party in the assembly. In tandem with senior INLD leaders, Abhay Singh Chautala and Ram Pal Majra, Arora confronted the government on several issues.

Often, he was seen taking the attack to the treasury benches and trying to motivate all the opposition MLA to join hands on public issues. Arora, who has also remained assembly speaker for a while, was also involved in working out effective floor management of opposition MLAs, including the BJP, during the Vidhan Sabha sessions.

Political observers said Arora was among a few politicians, who despite being a minister, did not figure in any controversy.

“He is known for maintaining a low profile in the party politics but he is a strong leader as far as Thanesar constituency is concerned. After delimitation in 2009 the caste equation changed but Arora won easily from Thanesar,” said an analyst.

However, Arora is unhappy with the step-motherly attitude of the Congress regime towards Kurukshetra during its 10 years at the helm.

“I raised demand to open a government college in Thanesar constituency in the House but to no avail.

Similarly, the BJP-led NDA had decided to promote the annual Gita Jayanti festival at its birthplace at the international level. But the Hooda government scaled it down to less than an ordinary local mela,” he said.


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