HJC, BJP swap Sirsa and Karnal Lok Sabha seats | punjab | Hindustan Times
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HJC, BJP swap Sirsa and Karnal Lok Sabha seats

punjab Updated: Mar 20, 2014 20:20 IST

Haryana Janhit Congress on Thursday announced that it has given Karnal Lok Sabha seat to ally BJP and will instead contest from Sirsa constituency.

Amid reports that differences had cropped up between the two allies after BJP put its foot down blocking the entry of former Union minister and Congress leader Venod Sharma into HJC who was eyeing Karnal seat, Bishnoi, who is HJC chief, said here that his party will no longer contest Karnal seat.

"BJP has accepted our plea to allot Sirsa seat in return for Karnal, to our party and we have decided to field former MP Sushil Indora from Sirsa on HJC ticket," Bishnoi announced at a press conference here.

From Sirsa, Haryana Congress President Ashok Tanwar is seeking re-election. He will cross swords with Indora who joined HJC today.

Indora said, "Late Bhajan Lal was a mass leader and worked hard to uplift all sections. Now, HJC is following in his footsteps and is committed to better the lives of common man. Impressed with their ideology, I have decided to join HJC."

Karnal seat has been a bone of contention between the two allies. As per earlier arrangement, while HJC was to contest the Hisar and Karnal seats, BJP was to field its candidates on the remaining eight Lok Sabha seats in the state.

Bishnoi himself is seeking re-election from Hisar.

Venod Sharma, senior leader and Ambala MLA who quit the Congress recently and was set to join the HJC and fight from the Karnal seat, failed to gain entry in the Bishnoi's party after a section of BJP leaders opposed his joining.

Two days back, Bishnoi announced the candidature of his brother and former Deputy Chief Minister Chander Mohan, but yesterday Mohan withdrew his name, citing that members of the Brahmin community want a Brahmin to be fielded from Karnal.

Karnal has traditionally been a Brahmin seat and is currently represented by Congress' Arvind Sharma, a Brahmin.

When contacted, Haryana BJP Legislature Party leader Anil Vij said a new candidate would now be put up in Karnal.

"The decision on who will contest will be taken later by tomorrow," Vij told PTI.

Haryana BJP sources said there were a couple of contenders for Karnal seat including state BJP chief Ram Bilas Sharma and former Union Minister of state I D Swami.