Saturday, February 26, 2000,
Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

INLD gets absolute majoirty in Haryana
By Yoginder Gupta
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 25 — Mr Om Prakash Chautala of the INLD will again take up the reins of Haryana with his party securing an absolute majority on its own in the House of 90.

A beaming Mr Chautala described his victory as a “vote for performance.” He had reasons to be happy with his party’s performance as it contested only 61 seats, leaving 29 seats for its alliance partner, the BJP, which could win only six seats. It had 11 MLAs in the dissolved House.

The Congress, which had only 12 MLAs in the dissolved House, took its tally to 21.

Mr Chautala has convened a meeting of the newly-elected INLD MLAs here tomorrow. They will formally elect him as their leader.

According to Mr Om Prakash Grover, Haryana BJP President, the BJP MLAs will meet in the party’s central office in Delhi tomorrow to elect their leader.

Though Mr Chautala declared that during the day a joint meeting of the INLD and BJP MLAs would be held, Mr Grover had no intimation of such a programme. Mr Chautala said he would invite the BJP to join his government but it was for that party to take a final decision.

Mr Grover said the final decision would be taken by the high command in consultation with the Haryana BJP MLAs.

Mr Chautala plans to hold the swearing-in ceremony of the new government outside Chandigarh and somewhere in Haryana. He said if his alliance partner agreed and the Governor approved, he would like the ceremony to be held either in Kurukshetra, Rohtak, Hisar or Jind.

The INLD supremo won the both in Rori in Sirsa district and Narwana in Jind district. The BJP leader, Mr Ram Bilas Sharma, lost both from Mahendragarh and Ballabhgarh.

Former Chief Minister Bhajan Lal won from Adampur defeating Prof Ganeshi Lal of the BJP by over 46,000 votes. His son Chander Mohan retained the Kalka seat for the third consecutive term.

Another former Chief Minister Bansi Lal retained the Bhiwani seat for his HVP. The Haryana Congress President, Mr Bhupinder Singh Hooda, won the Kiloi seat by over 11,000 votes. However, another prominent Congress leader, Mr Birender Singh, lost from Uchana Kalan.

The Finance Minister, Prof Sampat Singh, won from Bhattu Kalan.

Dr Raghubir Singh (Cong) defeated his nearest rival, Dr Virender Pal (INLD) in Beri by a margin of more than 6600 votes in a seven-cornered contest the Congress wrested the seat from INLD.

Mr Krishan Lal (INLD retained the Assandh (SC) seat by defeating his nearest rival, Raj Rani (Congress), by a margin of over 23,000 votes in a six-cornered contest.

Balwant Singh (INLD) retained the Hassangarh seat by defeating his nearest rival, Naresh Kumar malik (Ind) by more than 1900 votes in an eight-cornered contest.

Lila Ram (INLD) retained Kaithal by defeating his nearest rival Dharam Pal Chhot (Ind) by over 17,000 votes.

Balbir Pal Singh (Cong) defeated his nearest rival, Manohar Lal Suneja (BJP) at Panipat by over 14,000 votes.

Lachman Dass Arora (Cong) wrested the Sirsa seat from the BJP by defeating his nearest rival Jagdish Chopra by over 15,000 votes.

Mrs Veena Chhibber retained for the BJP the Ambala city seat by defeating her rival, Kiran Bala (Congress) by over 6,000 votes.

Mr Rajinder Bisla ((Ind) defeated his nearest rival, Rambilas Sharma of the BJP by over 8000 votes at Ballabhgarh.

Mr Bansi Lal retained the Bhiwani seat for the HVP by defeating his nearest Congress rival, Mr Vasudev Sharma by over 8000 votes.

Haryana Assembly Speaker Ashok Kumar Arora (INLD) retained the Thanesar seat by defeating his nearest rival, Shashi Rani (Congress) by over 13,600 votes.

Dev Raj Dewan (Ind) retained Sonepat seat by beating Mr Devi Dass (BJP) by 3,491 votes.

Kartar Singh Badhana (INLD) defeated Hari Singh Nalwa (Congress) by over 12,000 votes and retained the Sambhalkha seat.

Dr J. P. Sharma (Congress) won the Yamunanagar seat by defeating his

nearest rival Ms Kamla Varma of the BJP by over 2800 votes.

Former Minister Mange Ram Gupta (Cong) defeated his nearest rival Gulshan Bharadwaj (unofficial INLD) by over 46,00 votes at Jind.

Mr Chander Mohan (Cong) retained the Kalka seat by defeating Mr Shyam Lal Bansal (BJP) by over 14,000 votes.

Mr Balbir Singh (INLD) retained the Meham seat by defeating his nearest rival, Mr Anand Singh Dangi (Cong) by over 3900 votes in an 11-cornered contest.

Mr Chander Bhatia (BJP) retained his Faridabad seat by defeating his nearest rival, Mr A.C. Chaudhary (Cong) by over 18,000 votes in an 10-cornered contest.

Mr Ramesh Rana (INLD) won the Gharaunda seat by defeating Mr Jaipal Sharma (Ind) by over 23,000 votes.

Ms Sarita Narayan caused a major setback to the Congress when she defeated the Acting Leader of the CLP in the dissolved House, Mrs Kartar Devi, from Kalanaur by over 2500 votes.

Mr Shadi Lal Batra (Cong) defeated Mr Munish Grover (BJP) in Rohtak by about 3600 votes.

Mr Chander Bhatia (BJP) retained his Faridabad seat by defeating his nearest rival, Mr A.C. Chaudhary (Cong) by over 18,000 votes in an 10-cornered contest.

Mr Ramesh Rana (INLD) won the Gharaunda seat by defeating Mr Jaipal Sharma (Ind) by over 23,000 votes.

Ms Sarita Narayan caused a major setback to the Congress when she defeated the Acting Leader of the CLP in the dissolved House, Mrs Kartar Devi, from Kalanaur by over 2500 votes.

Mr Shadi Lal Batra (Cong) defeated Mr Munish Grover (BJP) in Rohtak by about 3600 votes.

Mr Balwant Singh (INLD) retained the Sadhaura seat by defeating the Haryana BSP President, Mr Aman Kumar Nagra, by over 7500 votes.

Mr Jatinder Singh Malik (Cong) wrested the Kailana seat by defeating Mr Ved Singh Malik by a slender margin of about 750 votes.

Mr Jasbir Mallaur (IND) defeated the Congress heavyweight, Mr Nirmal Singh, in Naggal by over 18,000 votes.

Mr Puran Singh Dabra (INLD) defeated Prof Chhattar Pal Singh (Cong) in Ghirai by 425 votes.

Mr Deena Ram (INLD) won the Kalayat seat by defeating Mr Baldev Singh (Cong) by over 10,000 votes.

Dr M.L. Ranga (INLD) won the Bawal seat by defeating Mrs Shakuntala Bhagwaria (Cong) by over 18,000 votes.

A former Minister, Rao Inderjit Singh (Cong) won from Jatusana. He defeated Mr Jagdish Yadav (INLD) by 5600 votes.

Another former Minister, Capt Ajay Singh, retained the Rewari seat by defeating Mr Vijay Somani by 4916 votes.

Mr Lila Kishan (INLD) defeated Mr Jai Narain (Cong) by 20,979 votes to win the Fatehabad seat.

Mr Jai Prakash Gupta, a Congress rebel contesting as Independent from Karnal, won the seat by defeating Mr Satish Kalra (BJP) by 3,794 votes.

Mr Dharambir Singh (Cong) won the Tosham seat by beating Mr Sunil Kumar Lamba (INLD) by 785 votes. Mr Surender Singh, HVP nominee and son of former Chief Minister Bansi Lal, had to be content with the third place.

Mr Ram Kumar (INLD) defeated Mr Jagbir Singh (HVP) by over 9000 votes in Gohana.

Mr Subhash Chand Goyal (INLD)won Hansi by defeating Mr Amir Chand Makkar (Ind) by about 5600 votes. Mr Suraj Mal Antil (INLD) won from Rai defeating Mr Satpal Chauhan (Cong) by 5845 votes.

Mrs Anita Yadav (Cong) defeated Mr Hukam Singh (INLD) by over 12000 votes to win Salhawas.

The Nationalist Congress Party of Mr Sharad Pawar opened its account in the state when its candidate, Mr Jagjit Sangwan, defeated Mrs Shakuntla (INLD) by over 1000 votes in Dadri.

Mr Narender Singh (Cong) retained the Ateli seat by defeating Mr Santosh Yadav (INLD) by a slender margin of 334 votes.

Mr Bahadur Singh (INLD) defeated Mr Somveer Singh (HVP), a son-in-law of Mr Bansi Lal, in Loharu by over 5600 votes. In Mundhal Khurd Mr Shashi Ranjan Pawar (INLD) defeated Mr Ranbir Singh Mahendra, a son of Mr Bansi Lal, who was contesting on the Congress ticket, by 9,398 votes.

Mr Ramkishan (HVP) defeated Mr Jagan Nath (Cong) in Bawani Khera by 13,284 votes. Mr Ram Bhagat (Ind) won the Narnaund seat by defeating Mr Virender Singh (Cong) by 2,782 votes. Mr Jarnail Singh (INLD) defeated Mr Atma Singh Gill (Ind) by 24,495 votes in Ratia.

Mr Jai Prakash (Cong) defeated Mrs Promila Barwala (INLD), wife of Mr Surinder Barwala, the sitting INLD M.P. from Hisar by 6,964 votes. Mrs Vidya Beniwal (INLD) retained Darba Kalan by trouncing upon Dr K.V. Singh (Cong) by over 22,000 votes. Mr Bhagi Ram (INLD) retained Ellenabad by defeating Mr Om Prakash (Cong) by over 15,000 votes.

Mr Karan Singh Dalal opened the account for the RPI by winning the Palwal seat in a fight which had been made a prestige issue by Mr Chautala. He defeated Mr Devinder Chauhan (INLD) by over 13,000 votes.

Among the other winners are Mr Anil Vij (Ind) — Ambala Cantonment; Mr Pawan Diwan (INLD) — Naraingarh; Mr Kanwar Pal (BJP) — Chhachhrauli; Dr Bishan Lal Saini (BSP) — Jagadhari; Mr Risal Singh (INLD) — Mulana; Mr Bhim Sen Mehta (Ind) — Indri; Mr Satbir Singh Kadian (INLD) — Neoltha; Mr Jaswinder Singh (INLD) — Pehowa; Mr Amar Singh (INLD) — Guhla; Mr Bhagwan Sahai (INLD) — Hathin; and Mr Hamid Hussain (INLD) — Nuh.


A poll with no winners
From Shubhabrata Bhattacharya
Tribune News Service

NEW DELHI, Feb 25 — In a round of elections in which no particular party or alliance can be described as the “winner”, it has been downhill all the way for the Congress.

The BJP, too, has not fared with flying colours, though its performance, in tandem with those of its National Democratic Alliance partners, can give it a cause to smile. Significantly this dominant NDA partner has lost both the Lok Sabha byelections — in Bellary its performance dipped; at Kannauj it has nosedived.

The inability of the BJP-led NDA to stem Laloo Prasad’s Rashtriya Janata Dal in its bud in Bihar is a major setback. In Haryana, considering that the predecessors of the present INLD-BJP alliance had led in 85 of the 90 Assembly segments in the Lok Sabha poll less than six months ago and that the same alliance had won 85 seats in 1987, the present showing does not qualify to be called a triumph. In Orissa, the Biju Janata Dal has performed well, but the same cannot be said of the BJP.

The Congress has failed to retain its seats in the byelections held in Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh and Punjab. The pattern clearly shows a steady decline in the party’s fortunes nationwide.

Nawanshahar, which the Congress lost to the Shiromani Akali Dal after 23 years, is not the only bad news. In Maharashtra, the Colaba byelection in South Mumbai saw the widow of the former sitting Congress MLA, Mrs Dinaz Patrawala, winning on Shiv Sena ticket.

In Madhya Pradesh, where the Congress is ruling party, the Sohagpur byelection, caused by the death of sitting Congress member and former Gujarat Governor Krishna Pal Singh saw the party’s nominee, Mr Brijesh Singh, finish third while the seat was wrested by an enunch, Shabnam Mausi, who polled more votes than her nearest BJP rival and the Congress candidate put together (Shabnam Mausi got 40,002 votes; BJP 22,100, and Congress 17,251).

The defeat of Major Krishna Mohini at Solan to BJP’s Rajiv Bindal saw the Congress lose a seat byelection to which was caused by a Court verdict against Major Mohini’s victory last time.

The victory margin of Congress candidate in Bellary is larger than the one of Mrs Sonia Gandhi, whose resignation caused this Lok Sabha byelection. Thus Bellary too has sent a bitter-sweet message.

Bad news has come for the BJP from the Hindi heartland with its candidate securing only 21,918 votes in the Kannauj parliamentary byelection as against 98,000 votes polled by the candidate fielded by the former BJP Chief Minister, Mr Kalyan Singh’s rebel outfit, the Rashtriya Kranti Party. This seat, which has been won by Samajwadi Party chief, Mulayam Singh Yadav’s son, Akhilesh, by polling 3,06,054 votes against Bahujan Samaj Party’s seasoned campaigner and former MP Akbar Ahmed “Dumpy”, who polled 2,47,329 votes. Thus a censure has come for the BJP from Uttar Pradesh and at the same time Mr Kalyan Singh’s potential has been put on record.

The results in Haryana and Bihar may cast a shadow on the future of national politics. The picture in Bihar is not yet clear, however the staying power of Mr Laloo Prasad has been tested and his opponents in the NDA have not been able to put up a joint fight to finish “Jungle Raj”. The RJD would hereafter play a role in national politics.

Similarly, the lack of a landslide mandate will make the future INLD-BJP regime in Haryana vulnerable from Day One.

The BJP-led NDA thus has ended this round of polls in a win-lose situation. For the Congress it has been a lose-lose scenario. The lack of a win-win situation for either of the two nationally alternative formations may mean the emergence of a scenario in which seeds of a new polarisation may be sown.

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