Unhappy after being denied tickets by the Congress, the rebels have filed their nomination papers on Saturday from the Panchkula and the Kalka assembly seats.
Heartburn in Panchkula
With the announcement of DK Bansal as the Congress candidate from the prestigious Panchkula assembly seat, there has been heartburn among the Congressmen here. As a number of leaders had openly expressed their desire to contest from Panchkula, some of them threw down the gauntlet and filed nomination papers on Saturday. Ravinder Rawal, who is contesting on the Haryana Janhit Congress (HJC) ticket, is one of them. For five years, he had tried hard to earn chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda’s confidence. He almost attended all the functions of the CM in Panchkula, as he was pitching for a ticket in the name of the Punjabi community.
When he lost the race to Bansal, he joined the HJC the next day. The turnaround happened even as he lost the Municipal Corporation elections in 2013 due to Chander Mohan, elder brother of HJC supremo Kuldeep Bishnoi. On Saturday, Chander Mohan was present when Rawal filed nomination papers.
Rawal had earlier told HT that in politics there was no permanent enemy.
Another Congress rebel is builder Vinod Bagai. He had also tried hard to get the ticket but in vain. He had filed nomination papers as an independent. “The Congress did not give me ticket. But, I had made up my mind to fight elections. I wanted to solve people’s problems and fighting elections is the only way to address them,” said Bagai.
Dissent in Kalka
The prominent Congress rebel in Kalka is Satvinder Singh Rana, who is fighting elections on the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) ticket. He lost the race to Manvir Kaur Gill, niece of former minister Lakshman Singh. He had lost last time from the Kalka assembly seat.
“Last time, I was seeking ticket from Kalayat, but they shifted me to Kalka. I faced the allegations of being an outsider. After losing the elections, I stayed here and worked amongst the people. But this time as some people wanted to ensure victory of Shakti Rani, wife of Venod Sharma, they gave ticket to a weak candidate,” said Rana, who had been a Congress MLA twice earlier. Sudesh Sharma is another Congress rebel, who is fighting elections from the Kalka assembly seat as an independent. He was also in the race for ticket, but lost.