In a first, Haryana ex-chief minster Om Prakash Chautala’s home village Chautala in Dabwali block has elected a woman sarpanch, who belongs to Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal’s home constituency Lambi.
Badal and Chautala families are known to have close family and political ties, with the former campaigning for Chautala’s Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) in 2014 Lok Sabha and Haryana assembly polls despite being a constituent of the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA).
Born and brought up at Lambi village of Shri Muktsar Sahib district in Punjab, Nirmala Devi moved to Chautala village after her wedding. Widow of Ranjeet Singh, she says she has fulfilled her husband’s last wish by fighting and winning the elections.
First woman sarpanch of the village, Nirmala said that in 2015 when her husband asked her to fight the panchayat elections, she agreed to it.
Unfortunately, Ranjeet Singh died in November last year, soon after filing her nomination. “I was shattered after my husband’s death, but I gathered courage and decided to fight the panchayat polls,” she says.
“It was my husband’s dream and to fulfil it, I stepped out and went from door to door to appeal for votes. I won with the highest margin (2,121 votes) in Dabwali block, for which I am very thankful to the villagers, who have shown faith in me,” says Nirmala.
Mother of three girls, Nirmala says she will leave the ‘ghunghat culture’ and encourage the women in the village to fight for their rights and development of the village.
She wishes to study further and also wants her daughters and other girls to get good education.
Chautala village has given India a vice-president, two chief ministers, five members of Parliament and thirteen state legislators.