While the Bharatiya Janata Party has named its Kisan Morcha president Om Prakash Dhankar from Badli segment under Rohtak parliamentary constituency, the INLD had already declared Sumitra Gulia, wife of five-time MLA and former minister Dheerpal, as its candidate for the October 15 assembly election.
The assembly segment is being represented by Congress MLA Naresh Sharma, who is known for launching a no-holds-barred attack on opposition parties and singing paeans to chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda’s family on public stages.
The Congress that is yet to name its candidate from Badli has two other prominent leaders – Kuldeep Vats, a native of Surethi village, and Anand Sagar, a native of Chudhani village under the segment, as claimants for ticket.
Their supporters claim that if the party failed to field their respective leaders as official nominee, they would not hesitate in contesting the election as independent candidates, which would certainly mar the prospects of the Congress candidate.
Naresh Sharma had won the 2009 assembly poll by a margin of 13,358 votes. Neither the INLD candidate nor BJP nominee could come near him, as Independent Brijender Singh Chahar finished runners-up. BJP candidate OP Dhankar, who unsuccessfully contested Lok Sabha election from Rohtak Lok Sabha seat against chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda’s son and Deepender Singh Hooda of the Congress, is set to pose a tough challenge in Badli, which, otherwise, is considered a safe seat for the Congress.
Dhankar, though a native of Dhakla village under Badli assembly segment, had his base in Dadri town of Bhiwani district from where he had contested an assembly poll previously. In the recent LS elections, he polled 38,629 votes from Badli segment against winning candidate Deepender Hooda, who got 49,637 votes from here.
Meanwhile, the supporters of INLD candidate Sumitra Gulia, wife of five-time MLA and former minister Dheerpal Singh, are in a dilemma, as Dheerpal, who was elected MLA on INLD ticket, had later joined the Congress and vowed to remain in the grand old party till death.
With Sumitra being the INLD candidate from Badli, old-timers and supporters of Dheerpal family are indecisive on which path to choose ahead of the upcoming assembly poll.
Political experts said being part of Jhajjar district, Badli assembly segment has witnessed large-scale development, including extension centre of AIIMS and jobs to youths, still in order to sway voters and to win this seat chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda and his son Deepender Singh Hooda will have to campaign for the party nominee.
BJP candidate OP Dhankar is pinning hopes on the Modi wave and the support of his Dhankar khap that has influence in 12 villages to win the seat. Similarly, Sumitra Gulia, too, is depending on vote-bank of Gulia khap, which holds influence in 24 villages in the assembly segment.