Other States

A battle royale in Adampur


A battle royale is being fought in this prestigious constituency which is the home fief of former Chief Minister Bhajan Lal and his clan.

Interestingly, the once powerful Bhajan Lal family has retained the seat since the formation of Haryana in 1966.

However, political equations have been changing over the years especially after Mr. Bhajan Lal and his younger son Kuldeep Bishnoi left the Congress and floated their own outfit - the Haryana Janhit Congress in 2007.

Interestingly, Mr.Bhajan Lal, who was disqualified as MLA in 2008, managed to win from here in the May 2008 by-election with a lower margin of 26,000 votes. In the 2005 polls, Mr.Bhajan Lal had won the seat by a record margin of 71,000 votes.

The veteran politician, once regarded as a political strongman who earned the sobriquet of ‘engineering defections’ failed to become the Chief Minister in the 2005 Assembly polls.

Interestingly, Mr.Bhajan Lal, who was president of the Haryana unit of the party during the polls, was hopeful of becoming the Chief Minister for the fourth time as the Congress won 67 out of 90 seats. However, Mr. Bhupinder Singh Hooda was appointed as the Chief Minister by Congress President Sonia Gandhi.

Now, Mr. Kuldeep Bishnoi, who has been declared as his political successor by an ailing Mr. Bhajan Lal, is determined to become the Chief Minister. So winning from here has become crucial for him.

The Congress has fielded former Union Minister Jai Parkash, who at one time was a close associate of the Chautala clan. Interestingly, Mr. Jai Prakash who had been elected as Congress MP from Hissar in the 2004 Lok Sabha polls, lost to Mr. Bhajan Lal in the May 2009 polls.

The candidates fielded by other parties have become inconsequential as the main contest is between the Bhajan Lal clan, which has always depended on the Bishnoi vote bank, and Mr. Jai Prakash, who is a Jat. The Congress is harping on development carried out in the State by the Hooda regime and the so-called neglect of the region by the Bhajan Lal clan.

The INLD has fielded Rajesh Godara, a close relative of the Chautalas, but is regarded as a “dummy candidate’’ by some political observers.

It is being said in political circles that the INLD which wants to settle scores with its former leader Sampat Singh, who recently defected to the Congress, has entered into a “secret’’ arrangement with the Bhajan Lal clan. Mr. Sampat Singh has been fielded by the Congress from Nalwa, a neighbouring constituency of Adampur while the HJC has fielded Jasma Devi, the wife of Mr. Bhajan Lal, against him.

According to insiders, the INLD cadres would support Mr. Bishnoi in Adampur and Ms. Jasma Devi in Nalwa. In return, the HJC would ensure the victory of the Chautala clan in Ellenabad and Dabwali.

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Printable version | Dec 7, 2019 10:28:50 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/A-battle-royale-in-Adampur/article16886071.ece

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