From zero in 2009 to two key seats in 2014, Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) registered a significant victory in Haryana by defeating political stalwarts Kuldeep Bishnoi, HJC chief, and Ashok Tanwar, HPCC chief. INLD also finished second in at least three parliamentary constituencies.
Deciding against alliances, the INLD this time fielded its own candidates on all 10 Lok Sabha seats. With its top two leaders, Om Prakash Chautala and Ajay Chautala, in jail in a corruption case, INLD still managed to secure a victory on two vital constituencies. Both Tanwar and Bishnoi, vanquished by the INLD, were incumbent MPs, and Bishnoi is the HJC-BJP alliance’s chief ministerial candidate for the forthcoming Vidhan Sabha polls.
INLD had been crying foul over the conviction of the Chautalas in the infamous Junior Basic Training recruitment scam, calling it a political conspiracy by the Congress.
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INLD’s Charanjeet Singh Rohri defeated Tanwar by over 1.15 lakh votes, while Dushyant Chautala defeated Bishnoi by over 31,000 votes. Hisar constituency had the maximum contesting candidates, 41, and witnessed the closest contest in Haryana.
This was the first Lok Sabha election contested by Dushyant, who is 27 years old and the youngest of all the contestants in Haryana. Bishnoi had defeated Dushyant’s father Ajay Chautala in the 2011 byelections for Hisar parliamentary constituency.
Congress candidate Sampat Singh could barely secure over 1 lakh votes, while Dushyant got 4.94 lakh and Bishnoi 4.62 lakh votes.
In three constituencies, INLD finished second, pushing Congress to third place. These include Kurukshetra, where INLD’s Balbir Singh Saini was defeated by over 1.29 lakh votes. Saini managed to secure more votes than Congress candidate Naveen Jindal, who got nearly 2.88 lakh votes. Similarly, in Bhiwani-Mahendergarh, INLD’s Bahadur Singh finished second by pushing Congress candidate Shruti Choudhary to third place. INLD’s Zakir Hussain finished second in Gurgaon, pushing Congress’s Rao Dharam Pal to third place.
In the previous Lok Sabha polls, INLD had fielded candidates in only five constituencies in Haryana.