Hisar Congress MLA Savitri Jindal and her MP son Naveen Jindal have reaffirmed their clout in the city by installing Shakuntala Rajaliwala as mayor of the Hisar municipal corporation.
Despite being a first timer, Rajaliwala was being presented, from the beginning, as Jindal House mayoral candidate for the newly formed municipal corporation.
Sources said she had no political experience except for managing Savitri Jindal's election campaigns in Hisar city behind the curtains. They said she was nowhere to be seen before the elections.
However, much credit to Jindal's confidence in her goes to her father-in-law Deep Chand Rajaliwala, who has been associated with Jindals and the Congress for years.Not only the Jindals successfully fought opposition within the Congress party, but apparently also won votes of five other independents with no serious political background and two Haryana Janhit Congress-affiliated councillors.
There were nine Congress-affiliated candidates who had won councillor election in the 20-member MC.A section in the Congress was trying to pitch Hari Singh Saini, former Haryana minister and Congress leader, Hisar, against Jindals in this election as Saini's daughter-in-law Rekha Saini was being seen as a candidate for the mayoral post. But it appears that Jindals had their say in these elections.
For Hari Singh Saini, who was seeing revival of his sagging political future in these elections, it is a setback. But party sources said had his daughter- in-law won the mayoral seat, he would have been a candidate for Congress ticket for Vidhan Sabha from Hisar city. They said the Congress top brass had promised him "adequate compensation".
However, Rajaliwala's victory is not as simple as it appears. Nearly seven independent councillors came back to Hisar hours before the elections took place on Tuesday afternoon. They were outside Hisar at undisclosed locations for over 10 days. In one councillor's case, posters of him being "bought" by a mayoral candidate were pasted in several parts of the city.
Congress sources said Rajaliwala, a "pawn" of Jindal House, is not a threat to Savitri Jindal's Vidhan Sabha ticket but the biggest challenge for her would be to keep the flock together as past records of local urban body in Hisar were not very promising and there had been frequent elections for the top post in the urban body.