Chautala-led INLD jolted by internal crisis

Chautala-led INLD jolted by internal crisis

Dushyant Chautala

Denials apart, Haryana’s principal Opposition party, the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) led by the prominent Chautala clan, is headed towards what appears like an underlying ‘family feud’ over control of the political legacy of party founder and former Deputy Prime Minister Chaudhary Devi Lal. 

MP Dushyant Chautala, a third generation member of the Chautala family, has been downsized by his grandfather and former chief minster Om Prakash Chautala, who is serving a 10-year jail term following his conviction in a recruitment scam. Dushyant Chautala is the son of former MP Ajay Chautala, who is also serving jail term along with his father O P Chautala. 
The senior Chautala has dissolved the student body (INSO) represented by Dushyant Chautala, after slogans were raised in favour of the junior Chautala at a recent rally in Gohana in Haryana. Unconfirmed reports suggest that the MP has also been suspended by the party. The developments indicate certain differences between the next generation leaders of the family and senior party leader Abhay Chautala, who is the younger son of O P Chaulata. Abhay has been working relentlessly, holding the fort in the absence of his jailed father and brother Ajay Chautala. 

Deny friction

Both Dushyant and Abhay Chautala have discounted the talk of any friction or feud within the family. Abhay on Friday  maintained that the student body represented by his nephew and MP Dushyant has been dissolved because of acts of indiscipline. Dushyant has put his foot down firmly by refusing to accept the verdict of his grandfather and party national president O P Chautala. The MP claims that the senior Chaulata has wrongly dissolved the student body given that this decision can only be taken by his jailed father Ajay Chautala or the 26-member national executive. 
Haryana goes to assembly elections next year. The INLD has been out of power for more than 14-years. Its two top leaders are in jail and this ongoing ‘feud’ could cost the party dear in the elections.