Haryana Finance minister Abhimanyu and former INLD MLA Ranbir Gangwa, who recently joined the BJP, are in contention for the party ticket from the Hisar Lok Sabha seat and minister Manish Grover from the Rohtak parliamentary constituency. Two senior BJP leaders from the state Tuesday said Abhimanyu, Gangwa and Grover's names were being considered by the BJP to be fielded from the two parliamentary constituencies.
"There are many names, but Abhimanyu and Ranbir Gangwa are among the frontrunners from Hisar, while Manish Grover's name is being actively considered from Rohtak," one of the party leaders, who did not wish to be named, said. Among other names, Union minister Birender Singh's bureaucrat son Brijendra Singh was also being considered from Hisar. Another leader, who too did not wish to be named, said apart from Grover, who is the BJP's sitting MLA from the Rohtak seat, the name of a former Congress leader who has since left the party, too was being considered from Rohtak, the only among the 10 seats from where the Congress has a Lok Sabha MP in Haryana.
"We have discussed the names of probables with our party's parliamentary board. They have taken a feedback from us and the names should be announced in a day or two," he said. When asked for the names which were under the party's consideration for the two seats, Haryana BJP president Subhash Barala said there were a few names which were discussed and the two names will be shortlisted and announced in a day or two. "There are a few names being discussed. We will shortly announce the candidates for the remaining two seats," Barala, who is a member of the poll screening committee of the party's state unit, told PTI.
Polls for all the 10 seats in Haryana will be held on May 12. Barala ruled out the possibility of entering into any alliance with the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD), saying there was no truth in these speculation. Earlier, senior INLD leader Ashok Arora said the party was not in talks with the ruling BJP for an alliance for the Lok Sabha polls, seeking to put at rest speculation that arose after party leader Abhay Singh Chautala met Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar. Barala exuded confidence that the BJP would increase its seat tally from Haryana in the general elections by winning all the 10 seats.
"People have made up their mind to make the BJP victorious on all the 10 seats from the state," he said. When asked if the BJP will be able to make inroads into Rohtak, considered as bastion of the Hooda family, Barala said, "In the recently-held mayoral polls in five cities, we saw people's mood, which was in our party's favour. Then in the bypolls we won Jind Assembly seat for the first time, a constituency which was considered as bastion of late Devi Lal.
"So, bastions will fall in these parliamentary polls too and Narendra Modi will once again be the country's prime minister," Barala said. Barring Hisar and Rohtak seats, the BJP last week announced its candidates for the remaining eight seats from Haryana. In 2014, the INLD had won two Lok Sabha seats of Hisar and Sirsa, the BJP seven out of eight it contested, while the Congress had won the Rohtak seat. Two of the INLD's sitting MLAs Ranbir Gangwa and Kehar Singh joined the BJP recently. Gangwa represents Nalwa constituency in Hisar district.
While the Hisar Lok Sabha seat is represented by Dushyant Chautala, who is leader of the Jannayak Janata Party, which was floated recently after the INLD split. Deepender Singh Hooda of the Congress represents the Rohtak parliamentary seat. In the list of eight candidates which the BJP announced last week, the party retained five of its sitting MPs, dropped its Karnal MP and fielded a state minister from the Kurukshetra Lok Sabha seat as the party's sitting MP R K Saini had turned rebel and floated his own outfit last year. In 2014, the then ally of BJP the Haryana Janhit Congress had contested Hisar and Sirsa seats, but failed to win.
(With inputs from agencies.)