Chautala clan is at war and Dabwali is the prize the fight is over.
Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) chief Om Prakash Chautala’s heir apparent and son Ajay Singh Chautala is up against his paternal uncle Dr K.V. Singh of the Congress.
Two more from the family are in the fray. Congress rebel Ravinder Chautala is the son of INLD chief’s brother. Kuldeep Bhambu, a nephew of deputy prime minister late Devi Lal, is the Haryana Janhit Congress (HJC) candidate. INLD chief is the son of Lal.
Haryana goes to the polls on October 13.
For Ajay, 48, it will be a debut of sorts. This is the first time that he is contesting the assembly elections from Haryana. Ajay has twice been elected to the Rajasthan assembly and has also been a member of both the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha.
Redrawing of constituencies has come as a blessing for Singh. Dabwali was earlier a reserved constituency. Singh has on two occasions lost the election from Darba Kalan. The segment was done away with during delimitation.
“I’m focusing on one-to-one contact. There are many disgruntled INLD and HJC workers who are being tapped by me,’’ Singh says.
In his meetings, Singh accuses Ajay of not spending time or money in the constituency. He is quick to highlight the achievements of the Congress government and his proximity to Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda, inviting voters to be partner in satta (power).
Tuesday was the second time that Ajay set out to campaign. His promise: unemployment allowance and loan waiver for farmers and small traders.
The Congress has failed the state, he says. But gives his opponent his due. “He is their best bet. The Congress could not have got a better candidate,’’ Ajay says of his uncle.