Haryana polls: Ashok Arora joins Congress from INLD

Ashok Arora

 There are over 20 candidates in the fray for Haryana's Thanesar assembly seat, but the fight to watch out for would be between BJP MLA Subhash Sudha and Ashok Arora, who recently switched to Congress from INLD, to challenge the sitting legislator in his pocket borough.

Both Sudha and Arora joined active politics in the early 90s as workers of the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD). While Arora was elected as MLA from Thanesar in 1990 through a by-election, Sudha became its municipal council chairman in 1994.

Thanesar Municipal Council has been a Sudha family stronghold since 1994. While Subhash Sudha was the municipal council chairperson for one term, his wife Uma Sudha is the sitting chairperson in her third term.

Arora contested all the assembly elections from Thanesar since 1990 and was later re-elected from there in the years 1996, 2000 and 2009.

Sudha, who was in the Congress for about five years before crossing over to the BJP just before the 2014 assembly election, defeated sitting MLA and then INLD state chief Arora by a margin of 25,638 votes.

Sudha polled 68,080 votes against 42,442 by Arora while Pawan Garg of the Congress got 13,769 votes in the last assembly election in which 11 other candidates forfeited their deposits.

Kurukshetra, which is a place of historical and religious importance, had received a total grant of Rs 1,146 crore during the last five years of the BJP rule. Kurukshetra town is a part of the Thanesar Assembly constituency.

The two leaders are in a face-off over the grant.

While MLA Sudha at his election meetings is showcasing "record" development work done during his tenure with the help of the grant, Arora raises questions over the use of the fund and claims that "nothing concrete is visible on the ground except corruption".

The Congress leader also alleged that the state government failed to ensure minimum support price to the farmers for their produce and hit out over it for "unemployment among the youths".

In the run-up to the polls, the candidates are busy in door-to-door canvassing besides holding corner meetings to highlight their point of views.

Though there are 20 other candidates including from INLD, Jannayak Janata Party (JJP), Aam Adami Party (AAP) in the fray but the main contest is being seen between Arora and sitting MLA Sudha.

While residents hail transparency in recruitment in government jobs, civic issues like traffic congestion, waterlogging, and poor drainage, along with rural distress are of major concern in the constituency.

Haryana goes to polls on October 21 and the results will be declared on October 24. 

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