The Congress had retained Jhajjar (reserved) seat by a comfortable margin of 26,584 votes in the 2014 Assembly elections at a time when it was reduced to just 15 seats in the state after two consecutive stints of Congress leader Bhupinder Singh Hooda as Chief Minister.
The winning margin from Jhajjar was the second-highest among the 15 seats that the Congress won in 2014. The reason was the development witnessed in Jhajjar during the Congress regime from 2005 to 2014.
The Rohtak-Jhajjar rail line, new highways and bypasses, beautification of parks, two power plants in Jharli village, construction of new buildings of many government colleges, considerable improvement in electricity and potable water supply in Jhajjar Assembly segment were the key highlights of the then Congress government.
Geeta Bhukkal, an academically sound politician having LLB and other degrees, was elected the second time consecutively from Jhajjar in 2014 and broke the jinx that no sitting MLA had won the election. She became MLA the first time from Kalayat (Kaithal) in 2005.
Political analysts say that though Jhajjar has not seen any significant development in the past five years, the BJP is all set to give a stiff fight to the Congress this time. The BJP candidate remained at third place in the 2014 Assembly poll.
People say that neither sincere efforts were made to resolve the issues of poor drainage system, menace of stray cattle and management of solid waste nor any mega development project was brought here during the past five years. Nevertheless, the BJP has gained political mileage due to the polarisation of electors on caste lines after the Jat reservation stir, they add.
Jhajjar was the worst affected by the violence witnessed during the Jat quota stir in February 2016 as 13 people lost their lives in the communal riots and private and public property worth crores was also destroyed.
“Whatever development happened in Jhajjar is the gift of the previous Congress government which not only developed infrastructure but also gave it the shape of a city. It also made efforts to address civic issues. But violence and arson during the Jat quota stir changed the political equations here as the BJP succeeded in attracting a section of non-Jat voters in its favour. The clean image of Geeta Bhukkal is a plus point for the Congress,” says Om Prakash, a resident.
Malkhan Singh of Beri Gate here points out that poor drainage is a major civic issue in Jhajjar city and the BJP government has failed to resolve it. Corruption is rampant in the municipal committee as the roads and streets in a good condition are being re-carpeted.
Sohan Lal, a shopkeeper, says providing government jobs without ‘parchi and kharchi’ is the only positive step of the BJP government.
Mahabir of Chhuchhakvaas (Islamgarh) village says the previous Congress government had approved bypass of their village to ease traffic congestion, but it is yet to be executed.
"The BJP has committed gross injustice to my Assembly segment. It not only cancelled several development projects approved by the previous Congress government but also turned a blind eye towards Jhajjar despite the issues being raised several times in the Assembly." Geeta Bhukkal, Congress
"The BJP government has ensured overall development of Jhajjar. It has not only allotted adequate budget to gram panchayats for rural development but also removed corruption to a large extent. The BJP government has given a big gift by initiating work to execute Sainik School project in Matanhel." Kanta Devi, BJP leader
Total voters 1,70,189
2 Third gender
Sitting MLA- Geeta Bhukkal (Congress)
Likely candidates: Geeta Bhukkal (Congress),
BJP: Kanta Devi, Dr Rakesh Kumar, Ramesh Valmiki, Sunita Chauhan, JJP: Shri Ram Dahiya
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