Amid show of strength, Indian National Lok Dal splits, Ajay Chautala to float new party
Amid a show of strength by two warring Chautala brothers, elder brother Ajay Singh Chautala on Saturday announced he and his sons will float a new political party next month. With this, the split in the INLD’s first family is official.
The INLD is Haryana’s main opposition party. Dushyant and Digvijay Chautala are the great-grandsons of former Deputy Prime Minister Devi Lal.
Ajay Chautala, who had been expelled from the Indian National Lok Dal by his father and the party’s national president Om Prakash Chautala on Wednesday, said the new party would be announced at a rally on December 9.
“I wish well for Billu (younger brother Abhay Singh Chautala) with the INLD. We will float a new political party next month,” Ajay Chautala told his supporters who had gathered in Jind town, about 190 km from Chandigarh, on Saturday.
Ajay had called a meeting of party office-bearers and supporters in Jind on Saturday for a show of strength after his two sons, Hisar MP Dushyant Chautala and his younger brother, Digvijay Chautala, were expelled from the INLD by Om Prakash Chautala on Nov 2.
Ajay Chautala, who came out from Tihar prison on parole recently, was expelled from the party on Wednesday for “anti-party activities” after he remained adamant on holding the rebel meeting and rally in Jind. Ajay was also removed as the secretary general of the party.
Following a parallel meeting of INLD legislators and leaders in Chandigarh on Saturday, Abhay Singh Chautala, the younger son of Om Prakash Chautala, said the developments of the day had clearly shown where affiliations of party leaders were.
At least 15 INLD legislators attended the party meeting held in Chandigarh by the Abhay Chautala camp.
An INLD spokesman later said that only three legislators and four district presidents “failed” to turn up.
“I have no ambitions to be the chief minister. I tried my best to unite the party leadership,” Abhay Chautala said on Saturday.
At the parallel meeting in Jind, Ajay’s legislator wife Naina Chautala and MP son Dushyant Chautala attended while most other top leaders stayed away.
INLD state president Ashok Arora had on Wednesday termed the meeting called by Ajay Chautala on November 17 at Jind as “unconstitutional and illegal.”
The action against them followed activities of both youth leaders and their supporters when they tried to project Dushyant as the chief ministerial face in Haryana for assembly polls next year.
O.P. Chautala and his elder son, Ajay, were convicted in the JBT (junior basic teacher) recruitment scam in January 2013. Both were sentenced to 10 years in prison by a Central Bureau of Investigation court in Delhi.
The father and son have been barred from contesting elections due to the conviction.
The INLD has been managed by Chautala’s younger son Abhay Singh Chautala, who has been the leader of opposition in the Haryana Assembly, since then.
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