Three-time MP and Congress candidate for the Hisar Lok Sabha byelection Jai Parkash lost his security deposit after the results were declared on Monday, prompting social activist Anna Hazare to advise the Congress to draw its lessons from the defeat. Hazare also threatened to replicate the Hisar campaign in five states headed for assembly elections next year.
Team Anna’s next target is the upcoming Uttar Pradesh elections and core team member Kiran Bedi herself would be going to the state on Saturday, according to reports. Kiran Bedi said that she would address rallies on Saturday and Sunday and urge people to only vote for those candidates who are in favour of the Jan Lokpal bill.
Team Anna had campaigned against the Congress in Hisar, saying the party was not serious about passing the jan lokpal bill.
The social activist also warned in his blog that the next time around, “it will be me, Anna Hazare, who will personally rally for the (anti-corruption) cause”.
But the Congress and the victorious Kuldeep Bishnoi of the Haryana Janhit Congress and its ally, the BJP, were not convinced that Team Anna’s campaign had anything to do with the electoral verdict.
Hazare and his team, however, had no doubt about their role in the Congress’s rout and asked the party to “take a cue” from the poll results.
Hazare’s associate Arvind Kejriwal, however, added, “We had no role in anybody’s victory. Our sole aim was to ensure defeat of the Congress.”
In Hisar, former chief minister Bhajan Lal’s son and HJC-BJP alliance candidate Kuldeep Bishnoi secured 3.55 lakh votes, winning the seat by a slender margin of 6,300 votes over his nearest rival from the Indian National Lok Dal, Ajay Chautala. Bhajan Lal had won the seat in the 2009 Lok Sabha elections and his death in June necessitated the byelection that hit the headlines after Team Anna campaigned against the Congress.
Congress leaders insisted that Jai Parkash was not expected to win and that he had come third in the 2009 general elections too.
But when the Congress candidate polled 55,000 votes less than in 2009, he lost more than his Rs 25,000 deposit.
The last time a Congress candidate lost his or her deposit in the Hisar parliamentary seat was in the 1977 general elections held after the Emergency was lifted and the Congress faced a nationwide rout.
Neither the Congress nor the HJC-BJP combine acknowledged that Team Anna’s campaign altered the poll results this time.