The three famous Lals of Haryana politics — Devi Lal, Bansi Lal and Bhajan Lal — are no more, but their kith and kin are slugging it out in the poll arena, besides other political clans, from most of the 10 Lok Sabha seats in the state.
From the Hisar seat, Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) candidate Dushyant Chautala, the fourth generation of Devi Lal’s family, is taking on Haryana Janhit Congress (HJC) chief Kuldeep Bishnoi, the son of two-time chief minister late Bhajan Lal, the HJC founder. Bhajan Lal was seen as a nonJat leader, while Devi Lal was regarded as a leader of farmers and rural masses.
Dushyant is the son of Ajay Chautala — son of four-time INLD CM Om Prakash Chautala and great-grandson of former deputy prime minister Devi Lal.
Shruti Choudhry, the sitting Congress MP from BhiwaniMahendergarh seat, is the third generation of the family of Bansi Lal, who was seven-time MLA, two-time union minister and four-time chief minister of Haryana. She is facing Congress rebel and four-time MLA Dharambir Singh. Both are Jat leaders. Dharambir had switched sides and joined the BJP only a day before the ticket was allotted to him.
In the Ahirwal (Yadav) belt, four-time MLA and three-time Congress parliamentarian Rao Inderjit Singh, sitting MP from Gurgaon, who had quit the Congress and joined the BJP recently, comes from the family of freedom fighter Rao Tula Ram.
His father Rao Birender Singh, the scion of the Rewari dynasty, was a minister in undivided Punjab, the second chief minister of Haryana in 1967 and the first speaker of the Haryana Vidhan Sabha, besides being a union minister. Rao Inderjit’s brother Rao Yadavendra is Congress’ sitting MLA from Kosli; another brother, Rao Ajit Singh, recently announced to leave the INLD.
Rao Inderjit Singh is being challenged in Gurgaon by INLD’s Zakir Hussain, the son of Tayyab Hussain, who was a minister in undivided Punjab, besides Haryana and Rajasthan. Tayyab’s father Mohd Yasin Khan was a Meo leader and two-time MLA in the assembly of undivided Punjab.
The Faridabad seat, which has a sizeable chunk of Gujjar votes, would see four-time Congress MP Avtar Singh Bhadana taking on former Rajya Sabha member and leading lawyer RK Anand, fielded by the INLD. Bhadana’s brother Kartar was also a minister in the previous INLD government.
In Karnal, three-time Congress MP Arvind Sharma is facing a challenge from a political greenhorn fielded by the BJP, Ashwini Chopra ‘Minna’, a media baron from Delhi. Chopra is the grandson of Lala Jagat Narayan, a veteran Congress leader of Punjab who was gunned down by militants in Punjab in 1981, and the son of Romesh Chander, who was also killed by terrorists (in 1994).
ALL IN THE FAMILY
From Kurukshetra, Congress sitting MP Naveen Jindal is facing BJP’s Raj Kumar Saini and INLD’s Balbir Saini, who are both related to each other. Naveen is the son of noted industrialist and former Kurukshetra MP late OP Jindal, who was a minister in then Congress government. Naveen’s mother Savitri Jindal, the richest woman in the country, is a minister in the present Congress government.
The Rohtak seat has Congress’ Deepender Hooda, son of CM Bhupinder Singh Hooda and grandson of Ranbir Singh, seeking a third consecutive term.
After the ‘Lal’ families, the Hooda family has emerged as a leading clan with a mass base.