'Chand Mohammed' returns in his original avatar

Chander Mohan. (Wikipedia)

The story of Chander Mohan, who is now in the fray in the Haryana Assembly polls, is the stuff that Bollywood flicks are made of.

Outside of Haryana, not many people know or care that Mohan was the Deputy chief minister of Haryana. However, he was in the national limelight as Chand Mohammed,  the middle-aged man who quit politics, walked out a marriage, and converted to Islam to marry Fiza - all while holding the post of deputy chief minister during Bhupinder Singh Hooda's first term in power in Haryana.

After over a decade, Mohan now back in action in politics on a Congress ticket, contesting the Panchkula seat.

As deputy chief minister of Haryana until 2008, Chander Mohan went missing for months, ultimately surfacing in New Delhi to address the media as Chand Mohammad. Alongside him was Anuradha Bali aka Fiza, the flamboyant advocate who held the crucial post of the deputy advocate general in Punjab. Both were in love.

Chander Mohan had also converted to Islam, adopting the name of Chand Mohammed, possibly to escape repercussions of having an extra-marital affair.

The fairytale romance was short-lived after the relationship fell apart and an ugly spat ensued. The story witnessed a final sordid turn when Fiza was found dead in her house in Mohali near here, years later.

Chander Mohan, who represented Panchkula as a Congress MLA before, says it is a new inning for him. For his part, Mohan has to cover a lot of ground. His opponent, the BJP’s sitting MLA Gian Chand Gupta, is no greenhorn in politics.  

Incidentally, the fact that Chander Mohan was once the heir apparent former Haryana chief minister Bhajan Lal, seems to have become redundant after the controversy. 

After his fall from grace in politics and the fantastic, public failure of his love affair, Mohan's mansion in Panchkula wore a deserted look for years. Today, as the DH team visited him at home, hordes of people swamped the place, seemingly reposing faith in him again.

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