In the BJP victory in Haryana, rebels brought in from the Congress and the INLD contributed six MLAs to the kitty of 47. These were among 25 such candidates whom the BJP had given tickets.
Winners inducted from the Congress were Prem Lata, wife of Birender Singh; Santosh Sarwan, a former Congress minister during Bhajan Lal’s regime; and Rao Narvir Singh, who had joined the Congress from the HJC before heating into the BJP.
While Prem Lata defeated O P Chautala’s grandson Dushyant in Uchana Kalan by 7,480 votes, Santosh Sarwan defeated the INLD’s Rajbir Singh in Mulana by 5,649 votes, and Rao Narbir Singh defeated the INLD’s Rakesh Daulatabad in Badshahpur by 18,132 votes.
The three INLD rebels who won on BJP tickets were Krishan Lal Panwar, Abhe Singh and Balwant Singh. Panwar, an INLD veteran who had won from Israna in 2009, quit when the party did not give him the ticket. He joined the BJP a few weeks before he would file his nomination, got the ticket from Israna, and defeated Congress candidate Balbir Singh by 1,862 votes.
Yadav had contested earlier on an INLD ticket and lost. Denied that ticket this time, the retired IAS officer quit the INLD, joined the BJP and won Nangal Chaudhary constituency against the INLD’s Manju with a margin of 982 votes.
Balwant Singh, another INLD veteran denied the ticket, got the BJP ticket from Sadhaura reserved constituency, where he defeated his former party’s Pinki Chhapper by a margin of 14,146 votes.
The manner in which BJP fielded rebels from rival political parties highlights the dearth of candidates it was facing within its ranks. It followed a trend that had picked up during the Lok Sabha polls. The BJP had preferred rebels from rival political parties over its own members in several constituencies, because they could not match the profile of the newly inducted heavyweights. Of the seven BJP MPs elected from eight seats contested, four were Congress rebels. The most prominent was Rao Inderjit Singh from Gurgaon, the others being Dharambir Singh from Bhiwani-Mahendergarh and Ramesh Chander Kaushik from Sonepat, and Rajkumar Saini from Kurukshetra.
The party’s candidate from Karnal parliamentary constituency, Ashwini Kumar, a media businessman, was not a BJP man either until he was fielded. Ashwini won.
Among new BJP recruits who lost in the assembly elections was former Congress MP Jatinder Malik in Ganaur. He lost to the Congress’s Kuldeep Sharma. Another leader formerly with the Congress, Baljit Malik, was fielded as a BJP candidate in Baroda, where he lost to Congress candidate Sri Krishan. And J P Dalal, a loyalist of senior Congress leader Kiran Choudhary, got the BJP ticket from Loharu and lost.
Among INLD rebels who lost after contesting on a BJP ticket was Surender Barwala in Jind. The INLD’s Dr Hari Chand Middha defeated him.