As twin polls loom, campaigning hits the top gear in Haryana

With the upcoming general election being just about five months away, all the political majors in Haryana seem have entered poll mode by holding back-to-back rallies; for the state assembly polls are also due later this year if not held along with the LS polls, writes Rajesh Moudgil

The last fortnight in Haryana saw all the political parties – the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), its ally Jannayak Janta Party (JJP), the main opposition party Congress, and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) – holding rounds of rallies across the state. Why? While the general elections are due around the month of May, the state assembly polls are also due towards the year-end, in case these are not held simultaneously.

The national president of the BJP, JP Nadda was in Haryana – second time during the past fortnight – the last being in Panchkula city where he held a road-show with the state chief minister chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar.

Nadda got a rousing welcome by score of party workers and supporters along about 1.5 km roadshow led by him along with Khattar and state party chief Nayab Saini and accompanied by other top party leaders of the state, including assembly speaker Gian Chand Gupta, party affairs in-charge Biplab Kumar Deb and former state chief O P Dhankar.

Giving BJP a push ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha elections, Nadda in his address to a gathering on the occasion, claimed that the BJP would win all the 10 Lok Sabha seats in Haryana and form government for the third time at the centre and in the state.

He held that by the year 2027, India would become the world’s third-largest economic power and lauded Haryana chief minister for also effectively implementing the policies of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi government.

Quoting an article published in a Chinese newspaper, Global Times, he lauded Modi’s policies, stating that “India is accelerating at a faster pace’’. Nadda further held that India was currently ranked fifth in the world in terms of the economy and was progressing at such a pace that it would become the third largest economic power by the year 2027.

He also lauded the “Parivar Pehchan Patra’’ (family identity cards) scheme initiated by the Haryana government and said that the same had brought a revolutionary change in the state eliminating the need for people to run around offices – instead, the government was reaching out to the people directly.

The ally rallies

Though a partner in ruling government, the JJP, which has already said to have announced that it would hold rallies in all the 10 Lok Sabha seats in the state this poll season, held its rally in Karnal a few days ago in which its top leaders – deputy chief minister Dushyant Chautala and party president and his father, Ajay Chautala, exhorted JJP workers to gear up for the upcoming polls.

Notably, there have already been talks agog about the rough edges in the ties between BJP and JJP.

The JJP leaders called upon party workers to be ready for the upcoming polls and reach out to the people of the state so as to apprise them of the party’s vision. The JJP leaders also asked the workers to bring all the disgruntled workers back to the party fold amid the slogans to make Dushyant the chief ministerial candidate in the upcoming assembly polls.

The leaders also asked the workers to have the JJP flag atop their residences so as to show support to the party because of its achievements and vision. They lashed out at the Congress for allegedly misleading the people of the state on various issues. They said that since the general elections and the assembly polls were round the corner, workers should be ready for the same and their momentum should turn into a storm.

Principal opposition Congress

The Congress too has announced the start of the “Ghar-Ghar Congress, Har Ghar Congress’’ campaign in Haryana from January 15 during which it has been decided that the party would reach every home and every voter, showcasing the policies of the Congress and the failures of the government.

This was announced at a recent meeting presided over by party in-charge Deepak Babaria, former two-time chief minister and leader of opposition Bhupinder Singh Hooda and the state president Udai Bhan.

Several other senior leaders including Rajya Sabha member Deepender Hooda, party MLAs, former MLAs and other senior leaders also attended the meeting.

Babaria and Hooda held that there was a clear wave in favour of the Congress in the state. “Recently, the “Kisan Mazdoor Jan Aakrosh Rally’’ in Sirsa left all the rallies behind in terms of crowd attendance,” Hooda said and added that the actions of the ruling BJP-JJP government had been exposed before the public. The Congress during its rule had made Haryana number one in per capita income, investment, employment generation, law and order, development and prosperity, but the present government had made the state number one in unemployment, inflation, crime, drugs, corruption and atrocities. That is why the public is inclined towards Congress, he added.

Udai Bhan said that a 31-member committee would be formed at the booth level under the new campaign. “The responsibility of this committee would be to eliminate bogus votes, know the problems of the people and connect them with Congress through social media,” he said and added that war rooms would be set up by the party in Delhi and Chandigarh.

It may be recalled that Hooda and other party leaders have already been holding their separate events against the state BJP-JJP government.

Kejriwal rally on Jan 28

Meanwhile, even as the top leaders of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), namely Sushil Gupta and Anurag Dhanda, have already held rallies across the state in the past several days, the party supremo and Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal is scheduled to hold a “badlav’’ (change) rally in Haryana on January 28.

Stating that the party had already held meetings with the party workers of almost all the districts for the January 28 rally, Gupta and Dhanda said that BJP was afraid of the increasing popularity of Kejriwal as well as the support of the AAP in Haryana and that is why it was bent upon cornering the party leader.