Haryana elected lowest number of independents

  • Vishal Joshi, Hindustan Times, Karnal
  • Updated: Oct 29, 2014 16:33 IST

Known as the land of Aaya Ram Gaya Ram, the term used for post-poll defection, this time Haryana has elected five, the lowest number of independents, to the state assembly.

In 1991 also, people had voted five independent candidates to the House.

Haryana was carved out of Punjab in 1966 and the politics of opportunism has been seen since then.
According to official information, Haryana had the highest number of independents -- 16 -- in the assembly elections of 1967 and 1982.

From the 1966 to 1972 elections, the state had 81 seats, which was increased to 90 since the 1977 polls.
In 1968, there were six independents whereas the number jumped to 11 in the elections in 1972.
When the House strength was raised to 90 in 1977, there were seven independent members; there were seven independents in 1987.

In 1996 and 2005 polls, the number of independents was 10 and in 2000 the figure was 11.
Similarly, seven independents were elected in 2009.

Political analysts say independents played an important role in toppling and forming various state governments and took a centrestage in the state politics.

"While sometimes, the independents played a crucial role in government formation, a few leaders like late Congress leader Bansi Lal alleged to have supported independents to check electoral prospects of his rivals and opponents within the party," says Ranbir Singh, a political analyst.
Observers say the independent candidates have been winning on the basis of their clout in caste or local issues.

An expert on state politics said the government of the first state chief minister was toppled within months of its formation in 1967 by dissident Congress leader Rao Birender Singh, father of union minister Rao Inderjit Singh.

"With the help of fellow rebel Congressmen and independents, Rao Birender Singh formed the United Front government in March 1967. Later, Congress leader Bansi Lal used the political tactic by bringing down Rao's government and established his in 1968," said an expert.

In 1979, another late Congress leader Bhajan Lal with the support of defectors and independents toppled the Devi Lal government to become the chief minister.

Again in 1982, Bhajan Lal used a similar mechanism and converted his Janata Party government into a Congress government by taking away more than half the Lok Dal legislators.

In 2009, the Bhupinder Singh Hooda-led Congress government was formed on the basis of the support of five legislators of Haryana Janhit Congress and independent candidates.

Before the recent assembly polls, the Punjab and Haryana high court had disqualified all five HJC legislators who had joined the Congress to form majority for the Hooda government for its second consecutive term in 2009.

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