Venod out, HJC weighs between Paliwal, Rana as option for Karnal | punjab | Hindustan Times
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Venod out, HJC weighs between Paliwal, Rana as option for Karnal

punjab Updated: Mar 14, 2014 22:04 IST
Vishal Joshi

The Haryana Janhit Congress (HJC) is likely to shelve its plan to induct the veteran Congress legislator Venod Sharma.

Sources said that though the last ditch efforts were being made to convince the national leadership of the HJC's political ally the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to withdraw its strong reservation against Sharma, but HJC chief Kuldeep Bishnoi does not want strained relations with its partner.

Though Bishnoi and Sharma couldn't be contacted for comments, sources in the alliance said that the Congress
legislator personally was lobbying to appease the BJP.

HJC was expected to announce its Karnal candidate on Friday but the party sources said that it had been postponed to "explore other options".

Sources said that names of leading textile and handloom exporter from Panipat Avinash Paliwal, a Brahmin and four-time legislator and prominent Rajput leader from Nilokheri, in Karnal, Jai Singh Rana, are the two options with HJC for the Karnal seat.

According to the HJC sources, before declaring its second candidate, the party was maintaining a close watch on the social equation of all parties including the its ally.

"BJP's Bhramin leader Ramesh Kaushik is said to be frontrunner for Sonepat seat and the HJC may have to change its Karnal candidate to maintain the caste representation. A Rajput leader may be fielded to ensure their support in the forthcoming assembly elections as well," said a source.

Under a pre-poll agreement, BJP would contest on eight of the ten constituencies, whereas HJC would field its candidates from two segments.

Legislator from Ambala City, Venod Sharma, had quit the Congress last week and at a public address in Kurukshetra had announced to support any front that backed the NDA's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi.

But following a strong objection by the senior BJP leader Susham Swaraj, Sharma's entry into the HJC fold was stalled.

Close aides of Bishnoi said that the HJC chief was keen to field Sharma from the Karnal seat that has a long practice of electing a Brahmin candidate but at the same time he does not want to harm his relations with the BJP.

The BJP-HJC alliance has already announced that if voted to power in the assembly elections, also scheduled for this year, Bishnoi would the chief minister for first two-and-half years.