Political Titans Clash: Haryana Gears Up for High-Stakes Poll Battle

Campaigning concluded for 10 Lok Sabha seats and Karnal assembly bypoll in Haryana. Major political figures, including Modi, Rahul Gandhi, and Amit Shah, participated. With 223 candidates, including 16 women, the polling will be held on Saturday. The elections represent a significant contest between BJP and Congress.

PTI | Chandigarh | Updated: 23-05-2024 18:21 IST | Created: 23-05-2024 18:21 IST
Political Titans Clash: Haryana Gears Up for High-Stakes Poll Battle
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The curtains came down Thursday on campaigning for all 10 Lok Sabha seats and Karnal assembly bypoll in Haryana, in which political prestige of Chief Minister Nayab Singh Saini, his predecessor M L Khattar, two Union ministers and two Congress stalwarts including Kumari Selja is at stake.

The polling will be held from 7 am to 6 pm on Saturday in the sixth phase of the general elections.

The high-pitched campaigning, which saw the presence of top leaders including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BJP chief J P Nadda, Union ministers Amit Shah, Rajnath Singh, Nitin Gadkari, chief ministers of BJP-ruled states, Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and BSP leader Mayawati, came to an end at 6 pm.

As many as 223 candidates, including 16 women, are left in the contest for 10 parliamentary seats in the state. Two Union ministers -- Rao Inderjit Singh and Krishan Pal Gurjar -- and Congress heavyweight Deepender Singh Hooda are among the contestents. There are nine candidates in the fray for Karnal assembly bypoll necessitated after Khattar's resignation as MLA.

There are a total 2,00,76,768 registered voters in the state, which include 94,23,956 women and 467 transgender voters, officials said.

In the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, the BJP had secured all 10 seats. Chief Minister Saini, who is the state BJP chief and MP from Kurukshetra, was sworn in as the chief minister on March 12, replacing Khattar. The CM is fighting the Karnal assembly bypoll while Khattar is the candidate from Karnal parliamentary seat.

Khattar is facing Haryana Youth Congress president Divyanshu Budhiraja while Saini faces Congress' Tarlochan Singh.

Both Khattar and Saini campaigned across Haryana and exuded confidence that lotus (BJP poll symbol) will bloom in all 11 seats which includes Karnal assembly seat.

Haryana is witnessing a direct fight between the ruling BJP and opposition Congress on most seats.

However, seats like Hisar are witnessing a multi-cornered contest.

From Hisar, Power Minister Ranjit Singh Chautala, an Independent MLA who joined the BJP ahead of polls, is contesting against two members of the Chautala clan -- JJP's Naina Chautala and INLD's Sunaina Chautala. Besides, Congress' former MP Jai Prakash is also in the fray from the seat.

Kurukshetra seat is being fought by Congress' INDIA bloc partner Aam Aadmi Party, which has fielded its state unit chief Sushil Gupta against BJP's Naveen Jindal and Indian National Lok Dal's Abhay Singh Chautala, in a triangular contest.

Union ministers Inderjit Singh and Gurjar are seeking re-election from Gurugram and Faridabad parliamentary seats, respectively.

Congress' Selja and Hooda are contesting from Sirsa and Rohtak, respectively, where they face BJP's Ashok Tanwar and Arvind Sharma.

During the high-pitched campaign, leaders of the BJP and the INDIA bloc made all efforts to galvanise electors' support in their favour.

Jannayak Janta Party (JJP), Indian National Lok Dal (INLD), and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) leaders also campaigned for their party candidates who are in the fray. JJP's 10 candidates, BSP's nine and INLD's seven candidates are contesting the Lok Sabha polls. The campaigning saw leaders of various political parties attacking and counter-attacking each other.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi held a rally in Ambala and Gohna in Sonipat on May 18 and followed it up with another one in Mahendragarh on the last day of campaigning.

Three hours before campaign came to an end, Modi claimed that the INDIA bloc is talking about having five PMs over the next five years and said the fight over 'ghee' has broken out in the alliance, even before the cow has given milk.

In his first two rallies on May 18, as he stepped up the attack on the Congress, Modi had said Article 370 has been ''buried'' in 'kabristan' (graveyard) and it was his 'dhakad' (strong) government that removed the hurdle to the progress of Jammu and Kashmir.

Modi also referred to the ongoing Lok Sabha polls as a 'Kurukshetra' (battle) in which ''there is development on one hand and 'vote jihad' on the other''.

On May 20, Union Home Minister Shah held rallies in Karnal, Hisar and Jhajjar during which he had said Rahul Gandhi will have to take out a ''Congress Dhundo Yatra'' as the grand old party will not even get 40 seats in the polls.

Attacking the Congress, Shah had said the party did not revoke Article 370, which allowed special status to Jammu and Kashmir, for the sake of appeasement politics.

Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh also campaigned at many places including Rohtak, Karnal and Kurukshetra. He said the way India is moving ahead, it will become a super power in times to come.

During their campaigning, the BJP leaders said the dream of millions of ''Ram bhakts'' was fulfilled with the construction of a grand Lord Ram temple in Ayodhya.

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi campaigned in the state on Wednesday, addressing rallies under Bhiwani-Mahendragarh and Sonipat constituencies, where he referred to the Agniveer scheme, saying the military recruitment scheme will be scrapped if the INDIA bloc comes to power.

Rahul Gandhi and Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi, who campaigned in Sirsa and Panipat, had also said when the INDIA bloc comes to power, debts of farmers in Haryana and other states will be waived.

Campaigning in Kurukshetra on May 14, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had attacked the BJP-led Centre over his jailing, claiming it is scared of him.

Addressing a rally in Karnal on May 12, BSP chief Mayawati had said the Centre was not giving free ration to the underprivileged from its pocket and asked the poor not to feel obliged to vote for the BJP because of this.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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