Haryana: Cong repeats 2004 feat, gets 9/10

Haryana: Cong repeats 2004 feat, gets 9/10

 The new outfit Haryana Janhit Congress redeemed itself somewhat with a sole victory for its candidate, the old war horse Bhajan Lal, from the Hisar constituency.

The spectacular performance by the Congress mirrored its success in the 2004 parliamentary polls when the party  won nine seats. The BJP had won the lone seat.
An elated Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda credited the success of the party to the “progressive policies and the leadership of the UPA.”

With assembly elections less than a year away, Hooda said the resounding victory of the Congress would pave way for “repeat performance” in the  state elections. Poll results showed that Hooda’s policies and a plethora of sops for virtually every section of society worked to the Congress.

Among the victorious Congress candidates included Union ministers — Kumari Selja from Ambala and Rao Inderjit Singh from Gurgaon — industrialist Navin Jindal from Kurukshetra, Indian Youth Congress president, Ashok Tanwar from Sirsa and Deepender Hooda, son of the Chief Minister from Rohtak, who won the seat with a record margin of 4.45 lakh votes.

Four-time chief minister  77-year- old Bhajan Lal, who broke away from the Congress won from the Hisar constituency by defeating INLD candidate  Sampat Singh by a margin of 6,983 seats. Although HJC candidate lost from all other seats, Bhajan Lal’s victory comes as a shot in arm for the fledgling party headed by his son, Kuldeep Bishnoi.
The total annihilation of the INLD-BJP combine, brought together by the central BJP leadership though opposed by the Haryana unit, pointed to the fact that the alliance failed to work on the ground.

INLD supremo Om Prakash Chautala had to contend with personal loss of face with the defeat of his son, Ajay Chautala,  from Bhiwani. The seat was won by 33-year-old Shruti Choudhary, grand daughter of former CM, Bansi Lal.

It was a far cry from the combine’s spectacular performance in the 1999 parliamentary polls sweeping all the 10 parliamentary seats in Haryana. In 2004, both partners had contested independently with only BJP succeeding in winning one seat.

For the BSP which contested all the seats and tried its social engineering formula, there were encouraging signs ahead of the assembly polls, as two of its candidates were placed runners up. State Congress chief Phool Chand Mullana has acknowledged the BSP’s influence over several seats in Haryana.