Tribune News Service
Sirsa, October 13
For the first time in the past three decades, the INLD as well as its offshoot JJP, both headed by members of the Chautala clan, are struggling for survival in their home district Sirsa.
Except for former Leader of Opposition Abhay Singh Chautala who is locked in a triangular contest with BJP’s Pawan Beniwal and Congress’ Bharat Singh Beniwal at Ellenabad, no other contestant of the INLD or the JJP looks in the main contest in the other four Assembly segments of the district – Sirsa, Rania, Kalanwali and Dabwali.
In the last Assembly elections held in 2014, the INLD had won all five seats in Sirsa district – Ellenabad, Rania, Dabwali and Sirsa on its own symbol and Kalanwali seat on its alliance partner Shiromani Akali Dal’s account.
However, much water has flowed through the Ghaggar in the district in the past five years and the split in the Chautala clan which led to formation of the JJP headed by Dushyant Chautala in December 2018 has weakened the mass base of the clan in its own district considerably.
In the Lok Sabha poll held in May this year, the BJP candidate Sunita Duggal got a lead of 1.33 lakh over her nearest rival Ashok Tanwar in the five Assembly segments.
The lead was 41,389 in Sirsa, 34,659 in Ellenabad, 27,309 in Rania, 20,990 in Kalanwali and 8,662 in Dabwali Assembly segment of the district.
However, the condition of the INLD as well as the JJP was very poor in the entire district as their candidates could manage less than 1 lakh votes each in all nine Assembly segments coming under Sirsa Lok Sabha seat.
In Sirsa Assembly seat, the main contest is between the BJP’s Pradeep Ratusaria and Haryana Lokhit Party’s Gopal Kanda while Gokul Setia, an Independent, is trying to make the contest triangular this time.
The INLD has not been able to field its candidate and has extended support to Setia while the JJP has given ticket to Rajinder Ganeriwala, but he has not been able to make any impact.
In Kalanwali and Dabwali Assembly seats, the main fight is between the Congress and the BJP, says a shopkeeper in the grain market of the town.
Shish Pal Kehwarwala of the Congress and Balkaur Singh of the BJP are fighting it out in Kalanwali, though in the Sikh-dominated villages of the Assembly segment, Rajinder Desu Jodha of the SAD-INLD combine is vying with the BJP nominee for supremacy.
Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar today addressed a rally for the BJP candidate.
Amit Sihag of the Congress is pitted against Aditya Devi Lal of the BJP in Dabwali though INLD’s Sita Ram and JJP’s Sarabjit Singh Masitan are also in the fray.
Rania seat is likely to witness a tough contest between Independent Ranjeet Singh and HLP’s Gobind Kanda while the BJP candidate Ram Chander Kamboj is facing opposition from villagers for defecting from the INLD to the BJP.
Chautala clan losing hold
- In the last Assembly elections held in 2014, the INLD had won all five seats in Sirsa district – Ellenabad, Rania, Dabwali and Sirsa on its own symbol and Kalanwali seat on its alliance partner Shiromani Akali Dal’s account.
- This time, except for Abhay Singh Chautala — who is locked in a triangular contest with BJP’s Pawan Beniwal and Congress’ Bharat Singh Beniwal at Ellenabad — no other contestant of the INLD or the JJP looks in the main contest in the other four Assembly segments of the district.
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