Haryana principal opposition party Indian National Lok Dal (INLD), which until Sunday had 31 legislators in the house of 90, is down by 12 seats in its third consecutive defeat in the assembly elections.
In overthrowing the Congress regime, voters picked a new player, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), over state’s own INLD, which had kept the government under consistent pressure for 10 years by highlighting public- and farmer-centric issues, besides corruption.
The INLD, a well-organised party with strong cadre base, is wiped out in 13 of the state’s 21 districts.
Since 2009, it has not even a single MLA (member of the legislative assembly) in the Jat heartland of Rohtak, Sonepat and Jhajjar districts, albeit it had one or more in rest of the 18 districts until Sunday’s result.
Its candidates lost by huge margins in several districts. In Panchkula, Ambala, Yamunanagar, Karnal, Kaithal, Panipat, Sonepat, Rohtak, Jhajjar, Rewari, Mahendragarh, Gurgaon, and Palwal districts, the party is washed out, which means a rout in north and south Haryana.
However, it retained eight seats (Sirsa, Hisar, Bhiwani, Kurukshetra, Faridabad, Kurukshetra, Jind, and Mewat).
The current picture of the assembly should be worrying the INLD, as it had won two of the 10 Lok Sabha seats recently amid a strong Narendra Modi wave, and there was sympathy for its supremo Om Prakash Chautala and his elder son, Ajay Chautala, who are in jail in the JBT (junior basis training) teachers recruitment scam.
Of the two top reasons of concern, one should be the defeat of its youngest parliamentarian from Hisar, Dushyant Chautala, who lost to BJP’s Prem Lata, wife of former Congress stalwart Birender Singh, in Uchana Kalan by 7,000 votes.
It is the same segment (Hisar) from where he had won the Lok Sabha seat by more than 50,000 votes. The second cause for worry should be the humiliating defeat of state party president Ashok Arora to Congress turncoat Subhash Sudha.
The BJP candidate won Thanesar by more than 25,000 votes.
Sunday gave the INLD its third consecutive defeat in a row since the demise of party founder and late deputy prime minister Devi Lal in 2001.