Kurukshetra is set for a triangular electoral contest as sitting Congress MP Naveen Jindal faces a tough competition from the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) and the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP).
The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), being represented by the wife of state president of the Bhartiya Kisan Union (BKU), may also dent the votes in rural segments.
Though national issues related to inflation, political stability and corruption are being raised by political parties, the caste factor is expected to play a major role here.
The constituency comprises nine assembly segments spread over the districts of Kurukshetra (four), Yamunanagar (two) and Kaithal (three).
Four assembly segments – Radaur, Ladwa, Kalayat and Guhla – are represented by the INLD.
Industrialist-turned-politician Jindal, who had won the Lok Sabha elections in 2004 and 2009 with a comfortable margin, is relying on the development plank of the UPA and the performance of the Congress government in Haryana.
Upcoming projects like National Institute of Design ( NID), New Delhi- Kaithal rail route, and road network enhancement are some of the major achievement claims.
He is also banking on the role of his social organisation which has worked in health care, rural education and youth welfare, in which Jindal claims to have distributed ample funds from his own pocket.
But Jindal’s alleged involvement in the coal block allotment scandal has hit his image adversely and all opposition parties are out to cash on it.
Also, it would be a challenge for Jindal to keep the local Congress on his side.
Political analysts say it will be the combination of Jat, Sikh and Saini voters that will decide the electoral outcome.
On Monday, chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda kickstarted the first phase of the Congress road show from Panchkula that culminated at Kurukshetra.
Other parties are yet to organise major political events to woo the voters.
Political turncoats Raj Kumar Saini of the BJP and Balbir Saini of the INLD are seasoned politicians while AAP has fielded political novice Balwinder Kaur, wife of BKU’s Gurnam Singh Chaduni.
Poor upkeep of teerthas and village roads besides unemployment are among the main issues being raised by voters.
Raj Kumar Saini of the BJP alleges that Jindal has misused his position to get undue favours in coal allotments and that the Congress has protected him.
Balbir Saini of the INLD says the young MP has failed to bring any industrial project in his 10-year term, which could have provided ample opportunities of employment and skilled training development.
AAP’s Kaur says people should discard “an outsider” and the corrupt Jindal who is not aware of issues of common man and remains inaccessible.
She also calls people to vote ag ainst the cor rupt INLD leadership and the communal forces.
Analysts say political parties have fielded candidates keeping the caste factor in mind.
Conviction of the INLD leaders is a counter-attack by the Congress, which claims that the allegations against Jindal were result of a “misunderstanding” by the CAG.
Raj Kumar Saini, an affluent industrialist from Ambala district and the BJP candidate is depending heavily on the national campaign of projecting Narendra Modi as the next prime minister.
The AAP candidate is a greenhorn and its political house is divided and the party is banking largely on Arvind Kejriwal’s “charismatic” image.