Dynasties get mixed response

Dynasties get mixed response

Several leaders manage to win despite their parties' poor show

While BJP swept Haryana, its aggressive campaigning against political dynasties got a mixed response as elder sons of former chief ministers Bhajan Lal and Bansi Lal lost their seats but most members of INLD clan managed to win in spite of their party’s poor show.

The dream of main opposition Indian National Lok Dal (INLD), which was seeking to return to power after a decade of wilderness, were dashed, but two of the three members of Om Prakash Chautala family won on their seats. 

While senior INLD leader Abhay Singh Chautala tasted victory from Ellenabad constituency, Naina Singh Chautala of INLD and wife of party’s senior leader Ajay Singh Chautala, who is currently serving prison term in JBT scam case, won from Dabwali seat. 

Naina was the first woman from the Devi Lal clan to have contested the polls. However, Dushyant Chautala, INLD’s Hisar MP and grandson of former Chief Minister Om Prakash Chautala, suffered defeat at the hands of by Prem Lata Singh of BJP, wife of senior saffron party leader Birender Singh, who defeated him from Uchana Kalan seat.

Aggressive campaign

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other BJP leaders including party chief Amit Shah had aggressively campaigned in Haryana in the run up to the polls, asking the voters to put an end to the rule of political dynasties in the state.

Congress’ Ranbir Singh Mahendra, the son of late Bansi Lal, lost from Badhra Assembly constituency.

However, Lal’s daughter-in-law and Haryana minister, Kiran Chaudhary, retained her Tosham seat in Bhiwani district. Lal’s son-in-law Somvir Singh finished third from Loharu in Bhiwani district.

Kuldeep Bishnoi, chief of HJC-BL and son of former Chief Minister Bhajan Lal, won from the family’s pocketborough Adampur. 

His wife, Renuka, too tasted victory from Hansi seat. Bhajan Lal’s elder son Chander Mohan, brother of Kuldip, lost from Nalwa segment. 

The presidents of two new parties – former Union Minister Venod Sharma-led Jan Chetna Party and Independent MLA Gopal Kanda’s Haryana Lokhit Party – tasted defeat from their strongholds Ambala City and Sirsa, respectively. Venod Sharma’s wife Shakti Rani finished fifth at Kalka in Panchkula district.

Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda comfortably defended his Garhi Sampla-Kiloi seat in Rohtak district.

Assembly Speaker Kuldeep Sharma, son of veteran Congress leader late Chiranji Lal Sharma, retained Ganaur seat. However, luck did not favour  Minister Savitri Jindal, mother of noted industrialist and former MP Naveen Jindal, who lost from the family’s traditional stronghold Hisar.

Son of another Congress veteran Shamsher Singh Surjewala – Haryana Minister and Congress party spokesman Randeep Singh Surjewala – also had luck in his favour as he comfortably retained his Kaithal seat.

Among the saffron candidates who won included state BJP chief Ram Bilas Sharma from Mahendergarh, former RSS leader M L Khattar from Karnal and Haryana BJP legislature party leader Anil Vij from Ambala Cantt. 

Prominent among the BJP candidates who lost included BJP’s Vandana Sharma, younger sister of External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, who lost from Safidon constituency.

Another prominent loser from the Congress camp included Haryana Minister and six-time MLA from Rewari, Ajay Singh Yadav who lost his traditional seat finishing at third position.