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Cong. sweeps the GT Road belt in Haryana

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Party wrests 23 seats from different parties compared to 2014 elections

Putting up a strong fight against the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party in the Assembly election, the Congress wrested 23 seats from different political parties across the State compared to 2014 to win 31 seats. The party, however, lost six seats previously held by it.

The Congress wrested the maximum 14 seats from the BJP, mostly along the GT Road belt, considered to be the stronghold of the ruling party, and in South Haryana.

Interestingly, the Congress caused the maximum dent to the BJP in the districts along the Grand Trunk Road winning nine seats previously held by it. The most prominent BJP losers in this region included, Local Bodies Minister Kavita Jain from Sonipat and Transport Minister Krishanlal Panwar from Israna (SC) in Panipat district. Besides, the Congress won two seats each in Ambala and Yamuna Nagar, one each in Kurukshetra, Panipat and Panchkula. In Karnal’s Assandh, Shamsher Singh Gogi defeated Bahujan Samaj Party’s Narendra Singh. The seat was earlier held by BJP’s Bakhshish Virk, who had recently courted controversy for his remarks over EVMs.

8 seats in South Haryana

In South Haryana, the Congress won eight new seats including four from the BJP. Both, Education Minister Ram Bilas Sharma from Mahendragarh and Agriculture Minister O.P. Dhankar from Badli in Jhajjar were among those who lost to Congress candidates.

Helped by the BJP rebel Randhir Kapriwas, former Haryana Finance Minister Capt. Ajay Yadav’s son Chiranjeev Rao won from Rewari. The BJP also lost its Bahadurgarh seat to the Congress.

Riding on the anti-BJP wave, Congress won all three seats in Muslim-dominated Nuh district. Two of the three seats in the district, namely Nuh and Ferozepur Jhirka, were held by Indian National Lok Dal. Punhana Assembly seat was held by Independent Rahish Khan. All three sitting MLAs from the district had joined the BJP earlier this year.

Congress’ Neeraj Sharma won Faridabad NIT defeating the BJP’s Nagender Bhadana. The Assembly seat was held by the INLD in 2014.

In Rohtak, the hometown of two-time Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda, Bharat Bhushan Batra defeated BJP’s sitting MLA and Co-operatives Minister Manish Grover by a margin of 2,735 votes. Similarly, the Congress won two seats in Sirsa and a seat each in Hisar and Jind.

But the party lost Ganaur, Hodal, Kaithal, Meham, Palwal and Rai previously held by it.

Prominent losers

The prominent Congress losers in these included party’s Communication Chief Randeep Singh Surjewala from Kaithal and former Haryana Assembly speaker Kuldeep Sharma from Ganaur.

Besides, the anti-incumbency against the ruling BJP, the Congress was helped by the BJP’s faulty ticket distribution leading to resentment among its cadres.

Also, there were few takers for the BJP’s campaign mostly concentrated on the national issues, including Article 370.

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Printable version | Dec 16, 2019 6:00:04 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/cong-sweeps-the-gt-road-belt-in-haryana/article29791184.ece

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