|Monday, February 21, 2000,
makes final attempt to woo Jats
fight among turncoats in Bhiwani
easy time for Congress
seats: Cong involves youth wing
contest for Sonepat seat
in the reckoning
indulging in double speak: Pilot
|Advani, Badal woo voters
YAMUNANAGAR, 20 While addressing a public meeting at New Grain Market here on the last day of campaigning today, the Home Minister Mr Advani expressed confidence that people would vote for an INLD-BJP government in the state.
stars canvass for Gehlot
disenchanted with alliances, says Hooda
Mahajan's remarks decried
hints at special Yamuna scheme
launches Hindi website
Hooda makes final attempt to
GURGAON, Feb 20 The Congress, locked in a triangular contest in the Gurgaon Assembly constituency, today engaged its state President, Mr Bhupinder Singh Hooda, and the party star campaigner, to tilt the Jat votes in favour of its nominee and former minister, Dharamvir Gabba. To give a further thrust to the campaign, a minister from Delhi, Mr Yoganand Shastri, accompanied Mr Hooda.
Mr Hooda addressed a public meeting in Jharsa, one of the biggest Jat-dominated villages of this assembly segment. Significantly, the INLD rebel, Mr Gopi Chand Gehlot, contesting as an Independent from Gurgaon and claiming to have the blessings of Chief Minister Om Prakash Chautala, is a native of this village.
The meeting was attended by sarpanches and former sarpanches of about 12 Jat-dominated villages.
The aerial route taken by Mr Hooda vide a chopper here had a palpable effect on the audiences. According to observers, it gave a punch to the Congress campaign.
The Congress and the INLD are locked in a fierce battle in Jatusana and Bawal. The Independent candidate, Mr Vijay Somani, in the Rewari Assembly constituency district is giving all others run for their money.
The Congress has a lot at stake in the Rewai segment as its nominee and former minister, Capt Ajay Singh, represented the seat in the last Assembly.
There is a keen contest between Rao Inderjit Singh (Cong), son of former Haryana Chief Minister Rao Birender Singh and former minister Jagdish Yadav (INLD) in Jatusana. The latter had defeated Rao Inderjit Singh in the last elections as the HVP nominee. He later joined the INLD after the party formed government in the state. Jatusana is considered a stronghold of the Congress due to the influence of the Rao Birender Singh clan.
Prominent among those contesting in Jatusana are former minister, Dharmveer Singh Yadav (Ind) and INLD rebel Rajinder Singh Lodha, who is contesting as the BSP nominee. The Congress, however, appears to have the edge over others.
Mr Dharamveer Yadav had won as the HVP nominee from Sahlawas in Jhajhar district in the last elections. He was one of the HVP leaders who effected a split in the party, resulting in the fall of the Bansi Lal government. He subsequently hobnobbed with the INLD and later with the Congress. His candidature has been reduced to insignificance in the presence of the two stalwarts of the Congress and the INLD.
Although the BJP cadre is giving unqualified support to the INLD nominee, he is finding the going tough against the Congress, chiefly because of the party rebel, Mr Rajinder Singh Lodha. Significantly, Mr Lodha was the state General Secretary of the party.
In the reserved Bawal constituency,the former minister and Congress stalwart, Mrs Shakuntala Bhagwaria faces threat by the INLD nominee, Dr M.L. Ranga, Dr Ranga quit as Vice-Chancellor Kuruskshetra University, to enter the poll area Mrs Shakuntala Bhagwaria has won several times from Bawal. This time Dr Ranga, besides having a towering image as an academician and a do-gooder, has the advantage of being a local.
The problem for the Congress nominee has magnified as the Jats, who number 20,000 in the Bawal Assembly segment, seen oriented towards the INLD.
The HVPs Jawant Singh, a former minister, had won from Jatusana in the last elections. This time the party nominee, Mr Mahender Singh, is much behind the others.
In Rewari, the Congress is making desperate efforts to retain the seat. The former minister, Capt Ajay Singh, who won the seat in the last elections is meeting a stiff challenge at the hands of Mr Vijay Somani (Ind) and Mr Randhir Singh Kapidiwas (Ind). The BJP nominee, Mr Shiv Rattan Singh, is behind the Congress, Mr Somani and Mr Kapidiwas.
Capt Ajay Singh does not seem to have the support of the entire block unit of the Congress.
Mr Vijay Somani, a former state leader of the BJP, is getting a good response from all sections though Rewari is dominated by Ahirs. He seems to have the backing of young voters.
Mr Randhir Singh Kapidiwas is also popular among the masses. In the last assembly elections, he had lost as an Independent to Capt Ajay Singh.
The BJP nominee is faced with a major problem. A large chunk of INLD workers are supporting the party rebel candidate, Mr Rajender Singh Thekedar. A large number of BJP workers are also said to be siding with Mr Somani.
The BJP and its ally seen to be in trouble in all three assembly segments of Mahendragarh, Narnaul and Ateli in Mahendragarh district.
Mahendragarh, considered to be a BJP stronghold, the party is being threatened by the Congress nominee, Mr Dan Singh.
The Ahirs, who constitute more than 50,000 of the 1.38,740 electorate, are among those firmly behind the Congress nominee.
In Narnaul, the General Secretary of the state unit of the BJP, Mr Kailash Sharma, is contesting as the party nominee. Like the BJP, the Congress appears to be trailing behind the two Independents, Mr Radhey Shayam Sharma, who resigned from the post of District Excise and Taxation Commissioner to contest in the elections, and Mahant Chand Nath.
The BSP nominee in Narnaul, Mr Raghu Yadav, is making efforts to consolidate the party votebank and the Ahir votes in his favour.
In Ateli there is a
four-cornered contest among Rao Narender Singh of the
Congress, Mrs Shantosh Yadav of INLD, Mr Naresh Yadav
(Ind) and Mr Om Prakash Engineer (BSP). However, the
Congress nominee appears to have the edge.
Its fight among turncoats
BHIWANI: Jagan Nathji was in the Janata Party in 1991, in 1996 he fought the elections as a Haryana Vikas Party (HVP) candidate. This time he is contesting as the Congress nominee, said Mr B.N. Bhutia, a pharmacist of Bawani Khera, in a rather matter-of-fact manner.
Amar Singh Dhanak had fought in 1987 on the Congress ticket, in 1991 he represented the HVP and the Congress again in 1996. This time he was an aspirant for the INLD nomination but after being denied nomination, he has entered the fray as an Independent, he went on.
They have personal supporters who will stick to them anyway, explained the pharmacist when asked what the voter felt about politicians changing their parties so often.
Haryana is notorious for the politicians of the Aya Ram, Gaya Ram variety. Bhiwani district in particular is believed to be swarming with such politicians. In Bawani Khera, from where Mr Jagan Nath and Amar Singh Dhanak are contesting, the BJPs nominee, Ms Santosh Sarwan, also belongs to the Aya Ram, Gaya Ram brigade.
She had contested and won from the Dabwali (Reserved) constituency in 1991 as a Congress candidate. Subsequently, she joined hands with Mr Chautala and sprung a surprise on everyone by pushing her way to become the saffron partys candidate from Bawani Khera, also a reserved constituency.
Of the seven assembly constituencies in Bhiwani district, there is not one where turncoats are not in the fray. Ms Chandrawati, the Congress candidate from Badhra, had defeated Mr Bansi Lal in the 1977 Lok Sabha elections as a nominee of the Janata Party. In 1991 she fought the elections from Loharu as a nominee of the Janata Dal with support from Mr Bansi Lals HVP and won the seat. Ms Chandrawati, who was formerly Lieut-Governor of Pondicherry, lost the next elections miserably from Loharu in 1996 as a nominee of the Congress. However since 1996 she has not changed her party, though she has changed her constituency from Loharu to Badhra.
Mr Ran Singh Mann, also from Badhra, was with Mr Om Prakash Chautala in 1991, though he did not fight the elections that year. In 1996 he contested as an Independent when he was denied the ticket by Mr Chautala. This time he was an aspirant for the Congress ticket, but failing to get it, he is once again contesting as an Independent.
In Dadri, Mr Jagjit Sangwan fought as the Congress candidate in 1991 and 1996. He was President of the Congress district unit when he entered the poll arena as a candidate of the Nationalist Congress Party after being denied ticket by the Congress. The Congress is yet to take action against this rebel leader who has challenged the partys official nominee.
Dharamveer Singh, who is expected to trounce Mr Bansi Lals son Surender Singh at Tosham, also got his initiation into politics in 1987 through Mr Devi Lals party. He joined the Congress in 1991 and since then he has remained in that party.
Mr Shashi Parmar, the INLD candidate from the Mundal Khurd constituency, who has set up a fight against Congress candidate Ranbir Mohindra, had fought the last elections from the same constituency as a nominee of the Congress.
Mr Vasadev Sharma, the Congress candidate from Bhiwani, contested from Mundal Khurd in 1987 on the INLD ticket and won the seat. In 1991 he again contested from Bhiwani as an Independent and secured only 2139 votes.
Mr Somvir Singh of the HVP and Mr Bahadur Singh of the INLD, the chief contestants at Loharu, are relatively newcomers and none has yet changed his party. However, Mr Hiranand Arya, who won four times from this seat as Mr Devi Lals candidate and subsequently lost twice fighting as the Congress candidate, has given a twist to the fight for this seat.
He was an aspirant for the Congress ticket but when denied the same, Mr Arya, instead of contesting as an Independent, asked his supporters to work for the INLD nominee.
Even the Bahujan Samaj party (BSP), which is yet to open its account in Haryana, has got its share of chameleons. Ms Nirmala Sharma, the BSP candidate from Mundal Khurd, was with the INLD and subsequently with the HVP.
For the party-changers, personal interest is all that matters. They have their votebanks and additional support is mobilised by them in the name of the party which gives them the ticket, observed Mr Dayanand and Mr Om Prakash, two perceptive voters.
Mr Jagan Nath, who has arguably changed his party more often than anyone else in Haryana, however, said whenever he decided to change his party, he first discussed the matter with a cross-section of his voters. He claimed he was forced to join the Chautala-led government by other HVP deserters.
I resigned and
joined the Congress and did not part company with Mr
Chautala because of denial of INLD ticket, he said.
No easy time for Congress
HISAR: Politics is now the only profession Mr O.P. Jindal has been taking interest in. The owner of a mighty Rs 5,000 crore business empire is contesting on the Congress ticket from the Hisar assembly segment.
Mr Jindals entry into politics was quite late. After putting his business empire in firm saddle, with his sons taking the responsibilities, he decided to take a fulltime plunge into politics in 1990. He was for the first time elected to the Haryana assembly from here in 1991 on the Haryana Vikas Party ticket. Subsequently in 1996 he was elected to the Lok Sabha from Kurukshetra on HVP ticket. He was defeated in 1998 elections from Hisar and in 1999 from Kurukshetra, on the HVP and Congress ticket, respectively.
This time the industrialist-turned-politician is trying his luck again from here. He has been campaigning vigorously from 8 in the morning till late in the night. He has left hardly any area in the Hisar constituency untouched. His wife Ms Savitri Jindal, his youngest son Naveen Jindal and daughter-in-law Shalu Jindal have also joined the campaign for Babu ji, as he is known in his family circles and among his employees.
If Mr Jindal wins from here, it will be for the first time in last 28 years that the Congress emerges victorious from here. The Jindals are leaving no stone unturned.
The common feeling about Mr Jindal is that he is inaccessible to the masses. Mr Jindal has promised to set up an office in the city where he will sit daily to listen to the peoples grievances. Besides, some employees will be deputed to attend to the people.
As far as campaign is concerned Mr Jindal has maintained a lead. This is obviously because of the considerable influence he enjoys among his (Bania) community, which constitutes about 19,000 votes. But Mr Jindal rejects the notion that he is banking upon the Bania votes only. For the first time it has been a sarvjati (all caste elections) campaign and people belonging to all castes are supporting me, he claims.
His son Naveen Jindal, who came here to his fathers support all the way from Rajgarh in Madhya Pradesh, from where he is heading the operations of the Jindal group, claims that Mr Jindal will break the jinx for the Congress. People know and understand that Babu ji has joined politics for serving them and not amassing wealth, he asserts, asking at the same time, it is his commitment to public good that he wants to remain in politics, otherwise why should the owner of a Rs 5,000 crore business empire contest an assembly election?
Mr Jindal may have strong claims but he is facing a tough contest from the Congress rebel, Mr Hari Singh Saini. Mr Saini does not in any way appear less strong, despite the fact that he has been already expelled from the Congress.
Moreover, the sitting
MLA, Mr Om Prakash Mahajan, who is contesting as an
Independent is in equally strong position. His main
support base has been among the 23,000 Punjabi voters,
who form the largest chunk in the Hisar segment. And the
fourth candidate Dr Kamal Gupta of the INLD-BJP alliance
is also moving closely.
Reserved seats: Cong involves
GURGAON: With the electioneering reaching the feverish pitch in Haryana, the Congress has involved its youth wing in a big way.
A large number of IYC members led by the vice president of its Delhi unit, Mr Rajesh Lilothia, took out a procession on the Delhi-Jaipur national highway passing through Gurgaon and on the main roads in Pataudi (Gurgaon) and Bawal (Rewari). Both Pataudi and Bawal are reserved Assembly seats. The heavyweights of the Congress and former ministers, Dr Kripa Ram Puniya and Mrs Shakuntala Bhagwaria, are the party nominees from Pataudi and Bawal, respectively.
Incidentally, Mr Lilothia has been assigned the task of coordinating the partys election campaign in all reserved Assembly segments of the state.
Mr Lilothia appealed to Haryana Dalits to rally behind the Congress. He claimed Dalits had now come to realise that it was the Congress which would champion their cause.
He said similar processions and mobilisation campaigns among Dalits would be undertaken by in other reserved Assembly seats.
Referring to the scene in Haryana, he said Dalits had always been marginalised by various hues of the Lok Dal, including the present Indian National Lok Dal headed by Chief Minister Om Parkash Chautala. The INLD and its ally, the BJP, were oriented only towards a section of society whereas the Congress had wider canvas with special focus on Dalits, backward classes and the minorities.
Mr Lilothia claimed that
the Congress nominess were ahead in a majority of the
reserved Assembly constituencies in Haryana.
Triangular contest for Sonepat seat
SONEPAT, Feb 20 The battle for the Sonepat Vidhan Sabha seat has narrowed down among a former MLA, Mr Dev Raj Dewan (Independent), three-time MLA from Sonepat, Mr Devi Dass of the BJP and interestingly Mr Rajiv Jain of the HVP, who has surprised many. The Congress seems to be completely out of the race as its nominee, Mr Ashok Sharma, son of Mr Chiranji Lal Sharma, is being considered a light weight by the observers.
While both Mr Dev Raj Dewan and Mr Devi Dass are heavily banking on the support of the Punjabi community, Mr Rajiv Jain is trying to garner the support of the non-Punjabis, particularly the Jats. The Sonepat constituency has about 1.45 lakh voters with Punjabis accounting for about 35 thousand votes and Jats having about 30 thousand votes mostly in the 23 villages falling in this constituency.
Despite the fact that the constituency has been a BJP stronghold and Mr Devi Dass had consecutively won elections from here in 1977, 1982 and 1987, the veteran leader will find going tough for him this time. One of the factor heavily loaded against Mr Devi Dass is his image as a non-resident. As his business interests are in Surat, Mr Devi Dass has virtually settled down there and is now being considered as an outsider. The feeling among the voters that after winning the elections he may become inaccessible to them is proving to be a big disadvantage for him.
On the other hand, Mr Dev Raj Dewan is trying to capitalise on his image of a messiah for all who has at his disposal enough moolah to run the show. An aspirant for Congress ticket, Mr Dewan had suffered a setback after the Congress stalwart, Mr Chiranji Lal Sharma, managed to secure the party ticket for his son, Mr Ashok Sharma, a novice in the politics. In the last Vidhan Sabha elections, Mr Dewan had won this seat by a massive margin of about 37 thousand votes securing 53.15 per cent votes as compared to 11.39 per cent votes secured by the Samajwadi Party candidate and 11.37 per cent votes by the BJP candidate.
While the two Punjabis,
Mr Dewan and Mr Devi Dass are slogging it out to pocket
Punjabi votes, journalist-turned-politician, Mr Rajiv
Jain is making inroads into the Jat vote bank. Though the
CPM has fielded a Jat nominee, Mr Shardhanand Solanki,
yet the early ventures of Mr Jain into the Jat-dominated
villages seems to heavily weigh in his favour. Having
remained in the realms of power during Bansi Lals
reign, Mr Jain, who was the press adviser to Mr Bansi Lal
had used his influence in getting certain development
works executed in Sonepat and in turn had steadily
prepared the political ground for himself. Since he is
also enjoying the support of the Banias, he cannot be
regarded as a pushover.
HVP in the reckoning
BHIWANI: Mr Bansi Lal, the architect of development in Bhiwani district, has staged a come back of sorts in this district. In the Lok Sabha elections held in September last year, Mr Surender Singh, Mr Bansi Lals son and the HVP candidate from the Bhiwani parliamentary constituency, was relegated to the third position, triggering off speculation that Mr Bansi Lals sway over Bhiwani was coming to an end.
However, for the Assembly poll in Haryana next Tuesday, the HVP candidates are locked in close contest in at least three seats, apart from Bhiwani, where Mr Bansi Lal is way ahead of his Congress rival, Mr Vasudev Sharma.
Bawani Khera, Loharu and Badhra are the three other constituencies which may go the HVP way. At Bawani Khera, which is witnessing a three-cornered fight among the HVP, the Congress and the BJP-INLD, the local vs outsider sentiment is working in favour of the HVP nominee. Mr Ram Kishan Fauzi, representative of the HVP,is also a fresher in the political scene, which has also, apparently given him a chance to have the edge over Mr Jagan Nath, the Congress candidate who is the second-most favourite to win this seat.
At Loharu, HVP nominee Somvir Singh, son-in-law of Mr Bansi Lal, is also a relatively newcomer in politics. In 1996 he won by a record 36,000 votes from this constituency and subsequently initiated works for setting up a polytechnic and ITI in his constituency. Even though he was not a minister, being the Chief Ministers son-in-law he wielded enormous influence and he used it to address the grievances of the people of his constituency. Mr Somvir Singhs main rival is INLDs nominee Bahadur Singh. Mr Bahadur Singh has been able to galvanise the traditional support base of Mr Devi Lal, and thrown a tough challenge to Mr Somvir Singh.
The HVP challenge is relatively weak in Badhra where a four-cornered fight is taking place among Mr Narpender Singh (HVP), Ranbir Singh (INLD), Ms Chandrawati (Cong) and Mr Ran Singh Mann independent. However, the HVP nominee, son of a respected local leader, late Mr Attar Singh, may just about get enough votes to defeat his rivals.
What may help the HVP candidates in the closely contested seats is the traditional support base of Mr Bansi Lal found in all constituencies of Bhiwani district. Mr Bansi Lal has also been considerably successful in giving the impression to the voters that the HVP and the Congress will together form the next government in Haryana.
The HVP has been thrown out of contest at Mundal Khurd, where Congress candidate Ranbir Singh Mohindra is locked in a straight fight with Mr Shashi Parmar (INLD). At Tosham, Mr Bansi Lals own constituency for three decades, his son Surender Singh, is lagging behind Mr Dharamveer (Cong). At Dadri, INLD nominee Shakuntala Sangwan appears to be ahead of her rivals from the HVP, the Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP). The Hansi seat, which is outside Bhiwani district, but falls under the Bhiwani Lok Sabha constituency, also elected the HVP nominee in 1996. However, Congress candidate Vinod Bhayana, INLDs Subhash Goel, and Amirchand Makkar and PK Chaudhary (Independents) have set up the contest at Hansi while the HVPs sitting nominee, Mr Attar Singh Saini is limping behind.
Even if the HVP gets
three of the four seats of Bawani Khera, Bhiwani, Loharu
and Badhra, it will be considered an achievement for Mr
Bansi Lal, given the drubbing the HVP had got in the last
Lok Sabha elections. However, in the last two elections,
the HVP and its allies had made a clean sweep in all
seven constituencies of Bhiwani district, and seen in
this context, three to four seats this time will be a
less than-satisfactory result for Mr Bansi Lals
PM indulging in double
HISAR, Feb 20 Senior Congress leader Rajesh Pilot, while addressing a public meeting in support of the Congress candidate from here, Mr O.P. Jindal, regretted the decline in moral values in politics. He pointed out the situation had come to such a pass that leaders like Mr Vajpayee had to speak one language in Delhi and the other in Gujarat to save his government. He said, the politics had been reduced to a power game.
FATEHABAD (FOC): Former Haryana Chief Minister Bhajan Lal on Sunday warned the people to beware of the tactics of Haryana Chief Minister Om Prakash Chautala, who, he alleged, was trying to grab power by blindfolding the electorate. He was addressing an election rally in favour of the Congress candidate from Fatehabad, Mr Jai Narain Verma, here.
He was accompanied by the AICC Secretary, Ms Selja.
Mr Bhajan Lal said that it was surprising that Mr Chautala had invited Mr Parkash Singh Badal to campaign for his candidates in Haryana, who he alleged, has been denying Haryana its legitimate share in river waters. He said that it was all the more strange that neither, Mr Chautala nor Mr Badal had said anything about the SYL canal.
BHIWANI (PTI): Union Minister of State for Gramin Vikas Subhash Gehriya, Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) supremo Kanshi Ram and Samajwadi Party (SP) President Mulayam Singh Yadav on Sunday held parallel election rallies here to seek support in favour of their party nominees in the coming Vidhan Sabha poll in Haryana.
Addressing a rally in support of the BJP-INLD combine candidate, Mr Rishi Ram Sharma, here Mr Gehriya claimed that only the BJP-INLD alliance could usher prosperity and development in Haryana.
Addressing a rally in the town Mr Kanshi Ram warned people to remain vigilant about false promises of the BJP.
At a separate rally in local Bichala Bazar Mr Yadav alleged that the BJP was a party of communal elements who were out to deprive the Backward people of the legitimate rights.
Advani, Badal woo voters
YAMUNANAGAR, 20 While addressing a public meeting at New Grain Market here on the last day of campaigning today, the Home Minister Mr Advani expressed confidence that people would vote for an INLD-BJP government in the state.
He asked the people to strengthen the hands of BJP candidates.
He said the Congress had failed to fulfil the basic needs of the people during its long regime.
Mr Advani was here to canvass for the BJP nominees Dr Kamla Verma from Yamunanagar and Mr Rameshwar Chauhan from Jagadhri.
Mr Parkash Singh Badal, Chief Minister, Punjab, also urged the voters to ensure the victory of the BJP-INLD candidates in Haryana. He said Mr Vajpayee was an untainted leader.
Mr Badal said whenever the Congress was in power the interests of Haryana and Punjab had been ignored. He alleged that no projects were allocated to these two states during the Congress (I) regime.
He said Mr Om Parkash Chautala, Chief Minister, Haryana, had undertaken a number of welfare schemes during his five-month tenure which the Congress could not take up in five years.
Mr Rattan Lal Kataria, MP, Ambala, Mr Manohar Lal Khattar, organising secretary of state unit of the BJP also spoke on the occasion.
Bollywood stars canvass for Gehlot
GURGAON, Feb 20 Bollywood stars Aditya Pancholi, Pooja Batra, Bhagyashree and Chandrachur Singh addressing a massive rally to canvass support for the INLD rebel, Mr Gopi Chand Gehlot, who is contesting as an Independent.
Also, if any one harboured doubt about the tacit support Mr Gehlot enjoyed of the INLD supremo, Mr Om Prakash Chautala, were convinced. The venue of the meeting was the local Gaushala Maidan.
Pooja Batra said her relatives from the maternal side were from Rohtak. She said she personally knew Mr Gehlot and vouched for his dedication to the welfare of the people of his area. She urged the voters to favour him, as he was an honest politician.
Bhagyashree said she too had heard a lot about Mr Gehlot. Supporting him would be in the interest of Gurgaon, she emphasised.
Chandrachur Singh said he was resident of Gurgaons DLF enclave. He said that he had faith in Mr Gehlot and was personally interested in his victory.
Aditya Pancholi, who was at Sohana area a few days ago, along with Mr Ajay Singh, son of Mr Om Prakash Chautala, to address a public meeting, made an emphatic appeal for the INLD rebel.
They said they would return to thank the people of Gurgaon if they made Mr Gehlot victorious.
Speaking on the occasion
Mr Gehlot criticised the Congress nominee, Mr Dharamveer
Gabba, saying that he had neglected the area for 15 years
he had been in power. He said that during the five months
of the INLD in power he had got development works
completed which the Congress and the HVP could not do in
all the years of their rule.
Voter disenchanted with
alliances, says Hooda
ROHTAK, Feb 20 The Haryana Pradesh Congress chief, Mr Bhupinder Singh Hooda, undertook a whirlwind tour of various constituencies on the last day of campaigning on a helicopter.
He was accompanied by senior leaders Satyapal Malik, Sajjan Kumar, Dr Yog Anand Shastri and Shri Kishan Hooda.
Addressing an impressive public meeting at Kiloi from where he himself is contesting, Mr Hooda claimed this time the BJP would not be able to grab power with the help of the INLD.
He said the people were fed up with alliances and false promises and wanted to install a stable government .
The Congress leader charged Mr Chautala with issuing irresponsible statements against senior leaders. He said, perhaps, faced with the likelihood of a defeat, Mr Chautala had started a smear campaign out of sheer frustration.
Mr Hooda visited Meham, Bawal, Jharsa, Sunarian and Darba Kalan in Hisar district.
Pramod Mahajan's remarks
ROHTAK, Feb 20 Haryana Congress president Bhupinder Singh Hooda has condemned the statement of Union Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pramod Mahajan in which the latter had asked the people to vote for the party which was in power at the Centre if they wanted development.
In a statement issued here yesterday, Mr Hooda said by making such a statement, Mr Mahajan had issued a vieled threat that if people did not vote for the BJP, the Centre would not release funds for development of the state. Describing the statement as totally irresponsible, Mr Hooda asked the BJP leader to tell how much funds were released during the past six months in which the BJP had been a partner of the ruling INLD.
He asked the people to vote without fear or favour to elect a truly honest and good government in the state. He declared that all matters concerning the employees would be resolved amicably to check unrest among them.
Meanwhile, Mr Balraj
Singh, general secretary of the youth wing of the INLD,
has joined the Congress.
AMBALA, Feb 20 Confrontation was averted between supporters of the Congress and the INLD here today when some persons threw a few stones at a trailer loaded with Congress supporters on the Ambala-Hisar road, near Ambala city, when they were returning from a rally of Mr Nirmal Singh, the party candidate from Naggal.
The Congress alleged that the stones were thrown by INLD supporters, while the INLD spokesman refuted the allegation.
According to information available, Mr Nirmal Singh had organised a rally in Anaj Mandi, Ambala City. After the rally Congress workers were returning to their destination when some persons threw stones at them. A hot exchange of words was also reported between Mr Nirmal Singh and a few supporters of the INLD. The issue was resolved when the police intervened.
The administration has already declared Naggal a hyper-sensitive constituency in the district and the police authorities have made special security arrangements there. Besides the district police, the Punjab Armed Force and the CISF are likely to be deployed on the polling day in the constituency.
Interestingly Mr Nirmal Singh of the Congress and Mr Jasbir Malour of the INLD have opened their election offices on the Ambala-Hisar road hardly at a distance of 50 yards from each other. The police has established a temporary police post between the two election offices.
Earlier addressing the
rally, Mr Nirmal Singh urged his supporters to offer
their services for the peaceful polling and said that
they should also be prepared to protest against any poll
activists back Vij
AMBALA, Feb 20 Haryana Vikas Party activists have expressed their support to an Independent candidate from the Ambala Cantonment assembly constituency, Mr Anil Vij.
A former member of the district grievances committee, Mr Ajay Gulati, said that Mr Vij had worked hard for the constituency. "Unlike other leaders, Mr Vij has brought progress in the constituency and we are sure that he would continue to do so if he is elected again," he said.
HVP district Senior Vice-President, Mr O.P. Sharma, said that Mr Vij had brought about a major change in Ambala cantonment and his notable achievements were the starting of the bus stand, work on Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose Park and setting up of Government College.
urged to clear stand
PANCHKULA, Feb 20 The Congress candidate from the Kalka assembly constituency, Mr Chander Mohan, while addressing various public meetings in the township and Kalka, questioned the BJP and the INLD on the issue of releasing separate manifestoes instead of a joint one.
The Congress candidate further questioned the BJP whether it stood by the slogan given by Mr Devi Lal of the INLD, way back suggesting to debar Baniyas from voting. He said that campaigning for the BJP was a futile exercise as the party had not yet remarked on supporting the policies of the INLD.
The spokesman of the Congress, Mr Ravinder Rawal, said that the BJP was equally responsible for the alleged lack of development in the state as it supported the Haryana Vikas Party (HVP) government for four years.
addresses poll staff
PANCHKULA, Feb 20 Addressing officers on poll duty at the BEL community centre here on Friday, the Deputy Commissioner, Mr S.K. Monga, said that discipline was an essential part of the election process and that all officers must perform their duty with utmost devotion and vigil for the smooth conduct of the poll.
He said that it must be ensured that a genuine voter was not deprived of his right to vote in the polling scheduled for February 22 and that officers must check bogus voting.
Slogans disrupt Pilots meeting
NARNAUL: A Congress election meeting addressed by Mr Rajesh Pilot was disturbed on Saturday by slogan-shouting people, angry over the wrong selection of candidates. The people, however, calmed down once Mr Pilot started his address. He said it was not the time for partymen to raise the issue although some mistakes could have been committed. Former Haryana Home Minister K.L. Poswals daughter Renu is the Congress nominee from the Assembly constituency. UNI
3 poll observers appointed
NARNAUL: The Election commission has appointed three observers for the nine Vidhan Sabha Assembly constituencies under Mahendragarh Lok Sabha constituencies in order to conduct free and fair elections. This was stated by Mr R.R. Jowal, District Election Officer, here on Saturday. He said the Election Commission has appointed Mr R. Tiwari to monitor the poll expenditure of the candidates. Mr R. Tiwari is camping at the local Canal Rest House. Mr K.J. Syreek will be available at PWD Rest House at Rewari. FOC
Novel ways of weighing candidates
REWARI: People of the
district have devised innovative methods of weighing
their candidates. Rao Inderjeet Singh, the Congress
nominee from Jattusana, was weighed against desi ghee and
presented with 82kg desi ghee by residents of Baghot
village on Thursday while Mr Vijay Somani, an independent
candidate from Rewari who has been living on a diet of
fruits and vegetables for the past six months was weighed
against fruit at the New Sabzi Mandi here. To top it all
Dr M.L. Ranga, the INLD candidate from Bawal, was weighed
against sacred books by retired teachers of the district
at a park here because of his inclination in these.
CM hints at special Yamuna
YAMUNANAGAR, Feb 20 The Chief Minister, Mr Om Prakash Chautala, while addressing a public meeting at Ranjitpur village about 30 km from here, in favour of the INLD candidate from Sadhaura, Mr Balwant Singh, said today that River Yamuna caused havoc in five states almost every year and a special scheme would be introduced with the help of the Centre.
He said 26 villages of Sadhaura constituency, on the banks of the Yamuna, were totally cut off during monsoon and a permanent solution to the problem would be worked out after the elections.
Mr Chautala alleged that the rebel candidate, Mr Ramji Lal, who is contesting as a Independent candidate from Sadhaura, was playing in the hands of the Congress and added that such activities would not be tolerated.
The Chief Minister criticised the Congress for its divide and rule policy. He alleged that people were fed up with the policies of the Congress. He said there was a pro-BJP-INLD wave in the state.
INLD launches Hindi website
HISAR, Feb 20 After having received a tremendous response to its English website, the Indian National Lok Dal has launched its Hindi version. The INLD becomes the first political party to have launched its Hindi website.
The Hindi website was launched by the Bhiwani MP, Mr Ajay Chautala, on the suggestion of Chief Minister Om Prakash Chautala.
The site has received a tremendous response from Pune, Mumbai, Calcutta, Chennai and Bangalore, mostly mediapersons.
The Chief Minister is said to be so impressed with the website that he reportedly ordered the site to be recorded in a disc, which is being played across the state.
So far the webiste has been displayed in the districts of Rohtak, Bhiwani, Kaithal, Rewari and Panchkula. The Deputy Chairman of Haryana Planning Commission and the official spokesman of the INLD, Mr R.S. Chaudhary, explains to the people all details about the website.
It is not just you people who are able to watch it, but the entire world watches it with a single push of the button, he tells the people.
The site contains the partys history, a profile of Mr Devi Lal, the election results of the 1996 assembly and parliamentary elections and results of all assembly results since 1982. The names of the INLD, the BJP and the Congress candidates contesting from various assembly constituencies have also been included in the website.
Besides the compact
disc, the INLD has prepared a video-cassette
Uplabhdiyan (achievements) with commentary by
newscaster Shami Narang.
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