Other States

Direct fight between Cong., BJP in Baroda

In a boost to the prospects of Congress in the Baroda bypoll, Independent candidate Kapoor Narwal, a BJP rebel, withdrew his nomination on Monday and announced his support to two-time Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda.

The withdrawal of the candidature by Mr. Narwal now makes it a direct contest between Congress’ Induraj Bhalu and Bharatiya Janata Party’s Yogeshwar Dutt, an Olympic medalist.

Besides Mr. Narwal, two more Independents, including Joginder Mor, withdrew their candidature and seven nominations were rejected leaving 14 candidates in the fray. Mr. Mor also announced his support to the Congress candidate.

Welcoming the decision of Mr. Narwal, Mr. Hooda said it was an “important” decision and would enhance his political and social stature. Mr. Hooda added that Mr. Narwal had taken a “right decision” at the “right time” and would emerge as the “Kingmaker of Haryana”.

Rajya Sabha MP Deepender Hooda said the countdown of the ruling BJP-JJP coalition would begin soon after the counting of votes would end at Baroda. “The people of the State are now demanding change because this government has wasted six years of the State and has left it on the verge of total financial collapse,” said Mr. Hooda.

Earlier in a day of hectic political activities, Meham Independent MLA Balraj Kundu, who had earlier supported the candidature of Mr. Narwal, withdraw his decision saying that it would benefit the BJP. He also made an appeal to Mr. Narwal to withdraw his nomination. Mr. Kundu said he had always fought for the poor, the workers and the farmers, and could not let BJP win at any cost. He also pledged support to the Hoodas.

Snubbed by parties

Mr. Kapoor Narwal, a former Indian National Lok Dal leader, had joined the BJP in 2014 and was among the probables for the by-poll, but reached out to the Hoodas recently for a Congress ticket after failing to get any assurance from his party. However, the Congress too rejected his candidature, despite the Hoodas insistence, after state party chief Kumar Selja put her foot down for a party’s worker to be its nominee.

Snubbed by both parties, Mr. Narwal, a strong Jat leader, then threw his hat in the ring as an Independent making it a triangular contest.

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Printable version | Nov 26, 2020 6:51:46 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/direct-fight-between-cong-bjp-in-baroda/article32896061.ece

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