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Political scions locked in Hisar battle play family, development card to woo voters

PTI | Hisar | Updated: 07-05-2019 22:12 IST | Created: 07-05-2019 22:12 IST
Political scions locked in Hisar battle play family, development card to woo voters

In an interesting dynastic contest, the legacies of Haryana's three political families are set to be tested against each other in Hisar Lok Sabha constituency on May 12. The three scions, all of them educated in institutions abroad, and their family members are campaigning intensely in the hinterland as temperatures soar above 40 degrees Celsius.

BJP has fielded 46-year-old bureaucrat-turned-politician Brijendra Singh, son of Union minister Birender Singh and great grandson of the peasant leader Sir Chhotu Ram. Congress has nominated Bhavya Bishnoi, 26. His father Kuldeep Bishnoi is sitting Congress MLA from Adampur and his mother, Renuka, is sitting Congress legislator from Hansi assembly seat. They represent the political dynasty of the late former Haryana chief minister Bhajan Lal.

The new Jannayak Janata Party has named Dushyant Chautala, 31, as its candidate. Dushyant is the great grandson of former deputy prime minister Devi Lal and sitting MP from Hisar. Other than talking about their family legacy, the three candidates also make sure they talk about the development work done by their parties.

Hisar is predominantly Jat land, where the community constitutes nearly 33 per cent of the total 16 lakh electors, ahead of the Bishnois. Dushyant and Brijendra are Jat leaders and Bhavya belongs to the Bishnoi community.

In 2014, Dushyant, then an Indian National Lok Dal leader, won this seat by a margin of over 31,000 votes and defeated Kuldeep Bishnoi, Bhavya's father. Five years later, Dushyant's road to electoral success does not seem easy as he fights on the ticket of a party (JJP) formed in December last year after a split in the INLD following a family feud.

The Hisar Lok Sabha constituency has nine assembly segments, four of them are with the ruling BJP. The party formed its government in Haryana for the first time on its own after 2014 state polls. Recently, the BJP got a shot in the arm when Nalwa MLA Ranbir Gangwa joined it after quitting the INLD.

The late Bhajan Lal had fought from Hisar as Haryana Janhit Congress candidate in 2009 and won, his son Kuldeep won the bypoll after his death in 2011, and in 2014 Dushyant wrested the seat. Kuldeep opted out of the race this time, saying people wanted his son Bhavya to contest. "Hisar is karmbhoomi of Bhajan Lal ji and my father's janm and karmbhoomi. I have come to serve you. Chaudhary Bhajan Lal's family is indebted to you for the love and blessings you have showered on us," Bhavya said at a public meeting.

The Bishnois largely keep their attacks directed towards the Modi government during campaigning, reminding people of its promises of "ache din", bringing back the black money from abroad, checking inflation and crediting every citizen's account with Rs 15 lakh. The Congress party candidate has come out with a "Sankalp Patra", a constituency-specific vision document, in which the young politician outlays his plans to develop Hisar.

Asked how helpful the family legacy would be to him in this election, he said a strong political background may give an initial edge, but he will have to prove his worth. Criss-crossing the constituency, Brijendra Singh, a former IAS officer, urges voters to bring Narendra Modi back to power at the Centre.

At a public meeting, he said, "BJP's policy, intent and direction is clear. The country needs a decisive government which only the BJP can give. The wave is even stronger in BJP’s favour this time." On Sir Chhotu Ram's legacy, he said it is not only limited to Haryana; it's spread is vast.

"Since my childhood, I have been impacted by his ideology," he said. Dushyant Chautala's JJP is contesting seven seats while its ally AAP is fighting the rest three.

JJP finished second in the Jind bypolls held in January this year. It scored higher than its parent party, the INLD, which was pushed to the fifth spot. "The mood is against the BJP and the only viable option people find is the JJP-AAP combine," he said.

Promising people that his party is fighting to help them realise the dream of a prosperous haryana of Devi Lal, he also mentions the development work he did as MP in Hisar since 2014. There are altogether 26 candidates in the fray from the seat. Of them 13 are independents.

No party has fielded a woman candidate here and no independent candidate is woman.


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