Dushyant Chautala takes over Devi Lal’s legacy as INLD decimated in Haryana
Dushyant Chautala, JJP founded took over the political legacy of his great grandfather and former deputy prime minister Devi Lal having eroded the support base of the parent outfit.
The rookie Jannayak Janta Party (JJP), a splinter outfit of the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD), sprang a surprise on Thursday by winning 10 seats in its first-ever assembly elections and emerged as the ‘kingmaker’.
With this, Dushyant Chautala, who founded the party, also took over the political legacy of his great grandfather and former deputy prime minister Devi Lal having eroded the support base of the parent outfit.
Crippled by the split in October last year when its supremo Om Prakash Chautala expelled his elder son and former MP Ajay Chautala and latter’s sons Dushyant and Digvijay for anti-party activities, the INLD saw an exodus of its MLAs and was left with just three.
With Ajay and his father undergoing imprisonment in the JBT recruitment case since 2013, Dushyant led the rookie party for the past about one year. His party’s first electoral test came when it contested the Jind bypoll in January this year on its own. Dushyant’s younger brother Digvijay came second in the poll, pushing Congress candidate Randeep Surjewala to third spot.
Steered by Dushyant, the JJP this time also snatched several INLD strongholds such as Uchana Kalan, Badhra, Narnaund, Uklana, Gulha, Barwala, Jullana, Narwana, Shahbad and Tohana.
While his mother and Dabwali MLA Naina Chautala shifted to Badhra and defeated the BJP’s sitting MLA Sukhvinder Mandi, Dushyant himself defeated Uchana Kalan legislator Prem Lata, wife of senior BJP leader and former Union minister Birender Singh. The JJP candidate Ram Kumar Gautam, a former BJP MLA, also trounced the finance minister Capt Abhimanyu in Narnaund.
In the 2014 assembly elections, the INLD, which became the main opposition party by winning 19 of a total of 90 seats, had its MLAs in Pehowa, Julana, Narwana, Fatehabad, Ratia, Dabwali, Rania, Sirsa, Ellenabad, Uklana, Barwala, Nalwa, Loharu, Dadri, Nuh, Ferozepur Jhirka, Hathin and Faridabad NIT.
Besides, the assembly results have brought a stunning humiliation to INLD for the party’s worst-ever performance, as it won from just one segment (Abhay Chautala from Ellenabad). Not only this, the party fared badly in the Lok Sabha election in May this year as it failed to win any of the total 10 seats.
“JJP enjoys support of the youth who helped it get the INLD as well as anti-BJP votes, especially in the Jat heartland. People also voted for Dushyant’s young leadership,” said Ramji Lal, a retired professor of political science.