Entry of two new parties to make Haryana polls more interesting

Key parties that are expected to cross swords with each other in the state include the ruling BJP, INLD in alliance with the BSP, Congress, AAP and Ajay Chautala’s new party, reports RAJENDRA KHATRY

The Assembly and Lok Sabha elections in Haryana are going to be multi-cornered next year with the entry of two more parties Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and Ajay Chautala’s yet to be formed party, which is a breakaway group from the main opposition party in Haryana, the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD)  for the first time.

Thus in the next years’s Lok Sabha and Vidhan Sabha elections, parties to cross swords with each other will be the ruling BJP, INLD in alliance with the BSP, Congress and Ajay Chautala’s new party scheduled to be announced on December 9 in Jind. The division in the INLD camp with the Ajay Chautala and his two sons MP from Hisar Dushyant Chautala and his younger brother Digvijay Chauatala has certainly weakened the INLD, but it is depending on its alliance with the BSP to score victory in both parliamentary and assembly elections.

For the last several months, the opposition parties as well as the ruling BJP have been gearing up with rallies, yatras and other public contact programmes to make an impact on the voters. Prominent Congress leaders in the state-former Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda, Haryana Congress president Ashok Tanwar and former state minister Randeep Singh Surjewala and Hryana Pradesh Congress Committee president Ashok Tanwar have been holding their separate rallies and programmes to woo the voters.

On the other hand, the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) led by Leader of Opposition in Haryana, Abhay Chautala also carried out a ‘Jail Bharo Andolan’ for several months over the issue of procuring SYL canal water for Haryana. Keeping the elections in Haryana next year the AAP also launched a ‘Haryana Jodo’ campaign in the middle of the year. Even the ruling BJP in Haryana carried out programmes like ‘Roadshows’ and `Raahgiri’ to showcase its programmes and policies.

The political leaders admit that they are holding these programmes for the sake of winning elections next year in the state. Former Congress Chief Minister of Haryana, Bhupinder Singh Hooda has just completed three rounds of the ‘Jan Kranti Rath Yatra’ in the state. Talking to Tehelka he said, “This is a public contact programme to highlight the monumental failures of the BJP government in Haryana. It will continue to be held till the elections in the state next year,’’.

Hooda has been announcing sops to the people if the Congress comes to power in the 2019 assembly elections in Haryana. On the other hand Ashok Tanwar, Haryana Pradesh Congress Committee (HPCC) president, carried out his own `Haryana Bachao-Parivartan Lao Cycle Yatra’ in the state.

Senior Congress leader from Haryana, Randeep Singh Surjewala who also happens to be the AICC Media Communications in-charge, is also trying to make his presence felt by holding public ralies one after the other in various parts of the state on a regular basis. In the last eight months he has held as many as 74 rallies.

The INLD, which recently forged an alliance with the BSP, has been carrying its programme jointly. Not to be left behind in the race for power, the Aam AAdmi Party AAP) launched ‘Haryana Jodo campaign’ (public contact programme) in June.

The BJP carried has carried out ‘Raahgiri’ programme as well as road shows of the Chief minister in different places from time to tome to connect with the public. In the middle of the year as many as 55 Raahgiri events were organised across the state, according to O P Singh,Rahgiri programme in-charge.

Among all the political parties, AAP seems to be the most eager to make a mark in Haryana. AAP supremo Arvind Kejriwal had refused to contest the Haryana assembly elections in 2014, but this time he seems desperate to contest and win. Kejriwal has been making frequent tours of Haryana in the last few months to impress voters in the state.

On November 24, Kejriwal started election campaign in Haryana with a ‘School-Hospital’ rally in Gurugram. AAP is dangling the ‘Delhi Model’ of development to the people of Haryana. He has been constantly sighting the improved condition of Delhi government schools and Mohalla clinics. He has said how AAP has managed to reduce the electritity bills with better management.

According to Kejriwal, all these are possible in Haryana too if the people vote for the party. In the past few months AAP national convenor and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has been attacking Haryana Chief Minsiter Manohar Lal on several issues, especially the poor condition of the government schools and the hospitals in Haryana.

Things came to such a pass that recently Kejriwal’s path to check government clinic in Karnal was reportedly blocked by the annoyed Haryana government. However, a few days later he visited a village in Sonipat to give 1 crore to the family of martyr BSF jawan Narender Singh who was killed by the Pakistani forces in Jammu.

According to sources in the AAP, the party is focusing on Delhi, Haryana and Punjab. AAP will contest all the 90 assembly seats in Haryana, as well as 10 Lok Sabha seats. The party started its poll campaign on November 24 in Gurugram with a public rally. According to senior AAP leader Sanjay Singh, AAP MLAs from Delhi have been assigned 10 assembly constituencies eachwhere they will monitor the political activities of the party.

Talking to Tehelka, AAP’s Haryana president Naveen Jaihind said the party will majority of seats in Haryana in the assembly elections nect year and also form the government. “The BJP has failed to fulfill any of the promises made to the people in its election manifesto and the people for the state will give a fitting reply through the ballot by showing BJP the door. In such a scenario, AAP is the best alternative to the people,” said Jaihind.

Ajay Singh Chautala, the ousted leader from the INLD, has announced his decision to form a new party in December. He has already started attracting disgruntled leaders from INLD and other parties to his fold. Ajay too has announced to contest all the seats in Haryana.

Meanwhile with the INLD in disarray, the Congress has started eyeing the breakaway members. Senior Congress leader Bhupinder Singh Hooda recently told his partymen that politics in Haryana is taking a new turn and the INLD has lost its dominance as it is fighting for its survival. With the INLD unlikely to revive, its members will look for options in other parties for their survival.

Hooda said in such a scenario, the Congress should make an effort to attract INLD party workers to its fold. He said as the people are disgruntled with the BJP rule the Congress will have the best chance to upstage both the BJP and the INLD to come to power.