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Tuesday, Nov 19, 2019

In Haryana’s Uchana Kalan, a charged dynastic slugfest

Dominated by Jat community, Uchana Kalan is located close to the Jind Rohtak national highway. It comprises Uchana Kalan town and 65 villages in Jind district and is a part of Hisar Lok Sabha seat.

assembly-elections Updated: Oct 16, 2019 01:02 IST
Rajesh Moudgil
Rajesh Moudgil
Uchana Kalan (Jind)
For sitting Bharatiya Janata Party legislator Prem Lata and Jannayak Janta Party’s (JJP) Dushyant Chautala, contesting for the seat for the second time, the battle could not have been stiffer and the stakes, higher.
For sitting Bharatiya Janata Party legislator Prem Lata and Jannayak Janta Party’s (JJP) Dushyant Chautala, contesting for the seat for the second time, the battle could not have been stiffer and the stakes, higher.(PTI)
         

For sitting Bharatiya Janata Party legislator Prem Lata and Jannayak Janta Party’s (JJP) Dushyant Chautala, contesting for the seat for the second time, the battle could not have been stiffer and the stakes, higher.

Premlata, 69, is the wife of three-time Parliamentarian and five-time MLA Birender Singh, who had defeated Chautala in the 2014 assembly election by a margin of 7,480 votes. Her son, Brijendra Singh won the 2019 Lok Sabha polls from Hisar. Uchana assembly segment falls in Hisar Lok Sabha constituency.

Chautala, son of former MP Ajay Chautala and grandson of Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) supremo Om Prakash Chautala, who contested the last assembly election on an INLD ticket, is fighting as the candidate of JJP this time around. He floated the JJP after INLD supremo expelled him along with his father and younger brother, Digvijay, last year.

The families of Birender Singh and Chautalas have a long political rivalry. Singh is the grandson of Sir Chhotu Ram, one of the tallest farmer leaders in Haryana. Om Prakash Chautala defeated Singh in the 2009 assembly election from here. In 2014, Prem Lata defeated his grandson Dushyant Chautala.

The 31-year-old Chautala scion has a legacy to carry forward. His great grandfather is former deputy prime minister late Devi Lal.

Dominated by Jat community, Uchana Kalan is located close to the Jind Rohtak national highway. It comprises Uchana Kalan town and 65 villages in Jind district and is a part of Hisar Lok Sabha seat.

Both Prem Lata and Dushyant Chautala belong to the Jat community. To Prem Lata’s advantage, the seat has been a citadel of former senior Congress leader Birender Singh, who belongs to Dumer Khan village of the assembly segment.

Chautala claims he has the backing of a section of INLD supporters, besides the huge support of youths. Also, since the former BJP MLA Ram Kumar Gautam has joined JJP and is contesting from neighbouring Narnaund seat, he is canvassing for Chautala to get a chunk of Brahmin votes in Uchana Kalan.

At the campaign trail, both candidates often bring up development issues. At a recent rally, Prem Lata offered a list of achievements: “Uchana has been made a sub-division, a grain market, set up, a PWD rest house, a horticulture centre, a 50-bed hospital, approvals for Kendriya Vidyalaya and a motor-driving school.”

Chautala, however, repeatedly alleges that Birender Singh has not done a thing for the people of Uchana Kalan or Bangar area. “He only has only promoted himself and his family and done nothing to bring employment or improve infrastructure here,” he said.

The Congress and INLD have fielded Balram Katwal and Satpal Gaindakhera respectively. However, it remains to be seen whose support-base they damage. Political observers opine the INLD candidate could harm Chautala’s prospects due to the ongoing rift within the Chautala clan. With Raghubir Palwan in the fray, there is a possibility of the Brahmin votes also being divided.

“The political fight between the two families isn’t new, though this time the candidate facing Prem Lata is not from INLD. Dushyant is new, and is yet to prove himself. Nonetheless, the BJP which thought it had a cakewalk here, has a tough fight,” said Rajender Sharma , head of the political science department at Maharshi Dayanand university, Rohtak.