IT APPEARS to be a small town with two markets, two banks, seven-eight schools, some sprawling houses, grain market and so on. But the native village of the Chautala family is thickly populated, with over 14,000 voters. A board with Chaudhary Devi Lal, Abhay Chautala and other leaders’ pics can be seen in the market regarding Jan Sabha held in Gohana on September 25 to celebrate Devi Lal’s birth anniversary.
At the market, Jagdish Sihag, who claims to be a “nephew of Chaudhary Devi Lal” said, “This village is very important if you talk about political connections. It gave Haryana two CMs (Devi Lal, his son Om Parkash Chautala) and many MLAs. During Chaudhary Devi Lal’s time, many political meetings used to take place in this village itself. All were working under one platform at that time. However disputes started gradually. Village is not indifferent to all this. “Villagers feel that differences had been there for a long time, but came out in open only recently.
Jitender Sihag, nephew of Om Prakash Chautala and son of Chaudhary Partap Singh (brother of Om Parkash) said, “No doubt we feel bad after hearing to the differences in the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) and the expulsion of Ajay Chautala from party. However, this fight is about political differences and not related to any family differences. Thus, I don’t feel like commenting on it. However, no doubt during Chaudhary Devi Lal’s time, all was well within the party. I have, however, stayed away from political matters since the beginning.”
Chaudhary Devi Lal had four sons – Chaudhary Partap Singh, Chaudhary Jagdish Chander, Chaudhary Ranjit Singh and Chaudhary Om Parkash Chautala. Partap Singh was an MLA in INLD in the ‘60s, said his son Jitendra, who added that Jagdish Chander never entered politics. Ranjit Singh, who was earlier in INLD, is now with the Congress.
Vinod Kumar, a farmer busy playing cards under a peepal tree, weighed in, saying, “Yeh toh kahani ghar ghar ki hai.. bahut se bhai alag ho jaate hai. Rajneeti mein sehmati toh bahut mushkil hai. toh ye bhi alag ho gaye (This is a story of every house, many brothers separate. it is difficult to have same opinions in politics. so they too have separated.)
Anand Parkash, a retired veterinary department employee, however, said, “Already many family members of the Chautala family are in different political parties for their vested interests. So this is yet another instance of differences regarding ideas within the party.”
Aditya Devi Lal, a nephew of Om Parkash Chautala lives close to Chautala’s house in the village. He is zila parishad member of Dabwali on BJP ticket and he had defeated his own sister-in-law Kanta Chautala (wife of leader of Opposition Abhay Chautala).
“Aditya is from BJP, Ranjit Singh and his family from the Congress, Om Parkash and his younger son in INLD and now if Ajay and his sons have been expelled, it is not a new story in this family, and not a surprise for village too,” said Runa Ram, who remained in close contact with Devi Lal.