One of the biggest political families of Haryana, Devi Lal’s clan is as such divided and had been contesting polls against each other. However, the family also depicts a classic example of dynastic politics.
Devi Lal had four sons – Om Prakash, Ranjit Singh, Pratap Singh, and Jagdish Singh – and a daughter Shanti Devi. Pratap and Jagdish are no more, while Shanti Devi lives in a village in Ellanabad.
At least seven members of (Om Prakash) Chautala clan are active in politics. His elder son Ajay, a former MP from Bhiwani and three time MLA (twice in Rajasthan and once in Haryana) is was convicted along with Chautala on charges of corruption in the JBT teachers’ recruitment case. Ajay’s wife Naina is sitting MLA from Dabwali constituency. Ajay’s elder son Dushyant represents Hisar in Lok Sabha while younger son Digvijay made his debut in state politics and recently contested Jind bypoll. He finished second.
Chautala’s other son Abhay was Leader of Opposition in Vidhan Sabha and MLA from Ellanabad. His wife Kanta too contested the Zila Parishad polls in 2016, but lost. His elder son Karan has started taking keen interest in political affairs of the party while younger son Arjun is contesting the Lok Sabha polls from Kurukshetra.
Chautala’s brother Partap Singh was elected as MLA from Ellanabad on a Congress ticket in 1967. He contested two more assembly polls – in 1977 and 1982 – but lost both. He died in June, 2014.
It was Pratap, who, in 1997 had lodged a complaint against Chautala (then Leader of Opposition in Haryana Vidhan Sabha) accusing him of corruption. At that time, Bansi Lal was the chief minister. An FIR was registered against Chautala. However, three years later police filed a closure report in the court when Chautala became Haryana CM.
Pratap’s son Ravi is, however, now an INLD member. His wife Sunaina was recently appointed as general secretary of INLD’s women wing.
Ranjit Singh, another brother of Chautala, remained an MLA and also cabinet minister during Devi Lal’s tenure in 1987. He is currently affiliated with the Congress while his son Gagandeep is a businessman and not in active politics.
Jagdish Singh was the only son of Devi Lal who never showed any interest in active politics. However, his sons have political ambitions. Ahead of October 2014 assembly polls, Jagdish’s sons Aditya and Anirudh had joined BJP, aspiring to contest assembly polls. However, they were not considered by BJP. They are again hopeful of getting a BJP ticket in this year’s assembly polls. Aditya had also defeated Abhay’s wife Kanta in January 2016 in panchayat polls in Zone 4 of Sirsa.
Chautala’s cousin Dr Karam Veer Singh had contested 2009 assembly polls against Ajay and the 2014 assembly polls against Ajay’s wife Naina on Congress ticket from Dabwali assembly constituency. He, however, lost both times. Singh also holds a distinction of working as Officer on Special Duty with two chief ministers, Devi Lal and Bhupinder Singh Hooda.
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