Rajnath meets Chautala in hospital,fuels speculations

BJP national chief Rajnath Singh and senior leader Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi’s on Thursday met INLD president Om Prakash Chautala at New Delhi’s Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital.

Written by Varinder Bhatia | Chandigarh/ New Delhi | Published:May 17, 2013 1:43 am

BJP national chief Rajnath Singh and senior leader Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi’s on Thursday met INLD president Om Prakash Chautala at New Delhi’s Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital. The meeting,which went on for two hours,has led to speculations that the two parties may be drifting closer after snapping of ties during the last Assembly polls in Haryana.

Chautala,who has been given a jail sentence of 10 years in the JBT scam,is currently lodged in the hospital. “Nothing can be predicted about the future,but today,the BJP leaders have meet Om Prakash Chautala in the hospital to seek his well being,” Haryana BJP spokesperson Virender Garg said.

When contacted,INLD MLA from Ellanabad,Abhay Chautala,said: “Any possibility of INLD getting into an alliance with BJP cannot be commented upon at this stage. All these things are in the womb of the future. Nothing can be disclosed at this stage. A lot will depend on the situation when polls are announced. My father has personal relationships with many people,including politicians from various parties.”

The meeting has created a stir in political circles as the BJP has already entered into an alliance with HJC last year. Recently,BJP’s Haryana president,Ram Bilas Sharma,and HJC chief Kuldeep Bishnoi — MP from Hisar — have denied reports that BJP and HJC may split before the Lok Sabha and state Assembly polls.

Though Chautala and his son Ajay Chautala’s conviction in JBT scam has put a question mark on the possibility of the former chief minister contesting polls again,speculations are rife that the INLD’s alliance with BJP,if it happens,may increase the parties’ prospects of coming back to power in Haryana.

Interestingly,when BJP had announced its alliance with the HJC during Adampur bypolls in Haryana,party leader Sushma Swaraj and then BJP chief Nitin Gadkari had come to Hisar and announced that ties with HJC were “unbreakable”.

Moreover,HJC and BJP are not tying up to contest the upcoming municipal polls slated for June 2 in Haryana. While BJP has already announced that its candidates will be contesting on party symbol,HJC has said that no candidate will contest on HJC symbol. The reason: HJC’s constitution does not provide a party symbol to a candidate contesting any election below the level of Vidhan Sabha.

While speaking to mediapersons in Chandigarh about a fortnight ago,both Ram Bilas Sharma and Kuldeep Bishnoi had refuted speculations of the alliance getting broken. At present,there is only one HJC MLA in Haryana Assembly — Kuldeep Bishnoi’s wife Renuka Bishnoi — while BJP has four.

When contacted,Congress’ Industries Minister Randeep Singh Surjewala said: “It is up to both the parties to decide if they want to enter into an alliance. It is not in our domain to comment in this. As such,both parties have entered into this unholy matrimony many times and then abused each other. Everybody knows what the parties had been saying against each other both inside and outside the Assembly.”

Despite repeated attempts,Kuldeep Bishnoi and Ram Bilas Sharma were not available for comments. Constitute medical board to examine Chautala: HC to AIIMS

The Delhi High Court has directed the government to set up a medical board to examine the health status of former Haryana chief minister Om Prakash Chautala.

The INLD chief,who is presently serving a 10-year jail term for his role in the scam related to the recruitment of over 3,000 primary school teachers in 2000,has cited his ill health as grounds in his bail application pending before the HC.

Justice Siddharth Mridul,who heard the case on Thursday after three separate judges recused themselves from hearing the plea,asked the Director of All India Institute of Medical Sciences to constitute a board which will examine 78-year-old Chautala and submit a report on May 21. The medical board will comprise a doctor of Tihar Jail and one specialist each from AIIMS,RML Hospital and GB Pant Hospital.

During the hearing,advocate U U Lalit,appearing for Chautala,referred to a medical report of AIIMS and said,“He deserved to be released on bail on medical grounds as he is suffering from various ailments,including heart and cervical problems”. The CBI however,had vehemently opposed the bail plea,and raised allegation that Chautala’s health was stable enough to be treated within the jail itself and did not require his release.

The court has posted the matter for further hearing on May 21.

Meanwhile,the court allowed co-convict Durga Dutt Pradhan to attend a marriage function on May 18 and asked the Delhi Police to accompany him during his outing.

On January 22,the trial court had convicted and sentenced Chautala and nine others,including his son Ajay Chautala,to 10 years jail term for illegally recruiting 3,206 junior teachers. Among other convicts,44 have been sentenced to four years jail term and one was sentenced to five-year jail term in the case.

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