Constituency profile: Kurukshetra: Fierce three-way battle on cards in the land of Mahabharata - Hindustan Times
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Constituency profile: Kurukshetra: Fierce three-way battle on cards in the land of Mahabharata

May 24, 2024 05:30 AM IST

The seat finds significance with the fact that the outgoing MP, Nayab Saini, is now the chief minister and Jindal himself won twice (2004 and 2009) on the Congress ticket. His late father and noted industrialist, OP Jindal represented the seat once.

Kurukshetra/Kaithal: In electoral politics, the land of Mahabharata, Kurukshetra, is all set to witness another fierce battle. Though it’s a neck-and-neck fight between BJP’s Naveen Jindal and INDIA bloc’s Sushil Gupta, who is also the state president of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), INLD’s lone MLA and secretary general Abhay Chautala is also testing waters from the seat. He is challenging both with the open support of the Bhartiya Kisan Union (Charuni) chief, Gurnam Singh, who is a native of the seat and holds influence in the region.

In electoral politics, the land of Mahabharata, Kurukshetra, is all set to witness another fierce battle. Though it’s a neck-and-neck fight between BJP’s Naveen Jindal and INDIA bloc’s Sushil Gupta, who is also the state president of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), INLD’s lone MLA and secretary general Abhay Chautala is also testing waters from the seat. (HT File/ Representational image)
In electoral politics, the land of Mahabharata, Kurukshetra, is all set to witness another fierce battle. Though it’s a neck-and-neck fight between BJP’s Naveen Jindal and INDIA bloc’s Sushil Gupta, who is also the state president of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), INLD’s lone MLA and secretary general Abhay Chautala is also testing waters from the seat. (HT File/ Representational image)

The seat finds significance with the fact that the outgoing MP, Nayab Saini, is now the chief minister and Jindal himself won twice (2004 and 2009) on the Congress ticket. His late father and noted industrialist, OP Jindal represented the seat once.

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With the elevation of Saini, an OBC leader, the saffron party has further strengthened its vote bank. Before Saini, Raj Kumar Saini won the seat on the BJP ticket in 2014 general elections.

However, to make a dent in the BJP’s vote bank, the JJP has fielded its candidate Pala Ram, who belongs to the Saini community. The seat covers the whole of Kurukshetra and Kaithal districts along with Radaur assembly segment of Yamunanagar.

With BJP’s star campaigners, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, national president JP Nadda, defence minister Rajnath Singh, UP chief minister Yogi Adityanath, his Uttarakhand counterpart Pushkar Singh Dhami having been addressed rallies in Jindal’s favour in the recent past, the BJP nominee believes that the bigwigs have put a fresh energy into the party cadre.

“I’m committed to developing Kurukshetra as a world-class tourism destination, particularly in spiritual tourism. I know we can achieve this as Haryana is way ahead of other states,” Jindal said during his campaigning on Tuesday.

As the electioneering hits peak, Bageshwar Dham’s Peethadhishwar Dhirendra Shastri also held a three-day ‘Hanumant Katha’ on the banks of Brahma Sarovar.

Popular for being vocal on national and religious issues, sources said that Shastri, during his address, also praised Jindal for his efforts for the Tricolour and right to display it, while he was attending the katha with Haryana minister of state and Thanesar MLA Subhash Sudha on Monday.

On the other hand, INLD’s Abhay Chautala is holding a meeting with the lawyers of the District Bar Association at district courts in Kurukshetra.

He claimed that after winning twice, Jindal remained inaccessible, never visited the residents again and neither anyone has his contact number.

The INLD leader also cornered former chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda “for being in collusion with the BJP” during Rajya Sabha elections in the past, on ticket allocation and assembly sessions.

Chautala, the grandson of former deputy Prime Minister Devi Lal, is banking heavily on the support from the farming community that is also the core voter of the party. He is also trying to woo Jat voters that have traditionally supported the Congress but shifted to the BJP in the GT Road belt since 2014.

“I’ve fought for the farmers. They know that the two other leaders (Jindal and Sushil Gupta) would never. I challenge Jindal to hold a public meeting in rural areas so that he will understand the discontent. People have seen that BJP leaders are not being allowed to enter any village,” Chautala said before leaving for his public meeting in Gulha.

Nearly 50 km away in Kaithal, AAP’s Gupta is busy canvassing at corner meetings with Congress’ Rajya Sabha MP Randeep Singh Surjewala.

At Ravidas Dharamshala, Gupta counts on the alliance promises of free electricity, ration, pension, while Surjewala talks about “threat” to reservation, Constitution and trend of illegal immigration in the region.

Gupta claimed that both Charuni and Chautala are “B team” of the BJP, while the “real” farmers will vote for the INDIA bloc.

Hitting out at Jindal, he said, “If money power could win election, then Adani-Ambani would have been the prime ministers. It is public support that makes a leader. Jindal was accused of a coal scam of crores of rupees and the money has not been recovered yet.”

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