Congress competing with its own record in Haryana
The ruling Congress in Haryana would like to achieve a 'Perfect 10' in the state's parliamentary elections this time, but the party faces an uphill task in even equalling its own record of nine seats in the 2004 polls.india Updated: May 06, 2009 16:02 IST
The ruling Congress in Haryana would like to achieve a 'Perfect 10' in the state's parliamentary elections this time, but the party faces an uphill task in even equalling its own record of nine seats in the 2004 polls.
All the 10 parliamentary constituencies in the state go to the polls Thursday in the fourth phase of elections. The state's 12 million electorate will decide the fate of 210 candidates, including a record 14 women candidates.
Haryana has 6.5 million male voters and 5.5 million female voters.
The main contest for most seats is between the Congress and the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD)-Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) alliance. Both the Congress and the INLD are led by the politically dominant Jat community.
This general election is important for both sides as assembly polls in the state are less than a year away.
Former chief minister Bhajan Lal has made the contest for the Hisar Lok Sabha seat triangular, as he has entered the fray as a candidate of his newly floated Haryana Janhit Congress (HJC).
Lal, 78, faces former Haryana finance minister Sampat Singh (INLD) and sitting Congress MP Jai Prakash. The highest number of candidates, 38, are in this constituency.
One seat the Congress is taking for granted is Rohtak, to which Deepinder Singh Hooda, 31, son of Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda, is seeking re-election.
Rohtak is considered a safe borough of the Hoodas. Hooda junior faces Nafe Singh Rathee of the INLD and Krishan Murti Hooda of the HJC.
Another interesting contest on the cards will be in the reworked (post delimitation) constituency of Bhiwani-Mahendragarh where INLD leader Ajay Singh Chautala, elder son of former chief minister and INLD president Om Prakash Chautala, is contesting against Shruti Chaudhary, granddaughter of former Haryana strongman and chief minister Bansi Lal.
Chaudhary's mother Kiran Chaudhary is a high profile minister in the state who does not get along well with Chief Minister Hooda.
Union Minister of State for Defence Rao Inderjit Singh will have to start afresh on the newly created seat of Gurgaon adjoining Delhi. He faces Zakir Hussain of the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and Sudha Yadav of the BJP. The constituency includes the MNC-dominated Gurgaon city.
Another central minister, Selja, is seeking re-election from the Ambala (reserved) constituency against Rattan Lal Kataria of the BJP. Her contest is a tight one this time.
High-profile billionaire industrialist and Congress MP Naveen Jindal is seeking re-election from Kurukshetra. Pitted against him is INLD state president Ashok Kumar Arora.
Indian Youth Congress national president Ashok Tanwar is contesting from Sirsa (reserved) against Sita Ram of the INLD. The controversial Dera Sacha Sauda sect, which has its headquarters near Sirsa, will have a say in the election here with scores of its followers residing in the area.
While the Congress won nine seats in the 2004 general elections, the Sonipat seat was bagged by Krishan Singh Sangwan of the BJP by a small margin. He faces Jatinder Singh Malik of the Congress this time.
First Published: May 06, 2009 15:56 IST