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Om Prakash Chautala eyes Dushyant’s stronghold with massive September 25 rally in Jind

The upcoming rally will coincide with the 108th birth anniversary of Devi Lal, which is celebrated as “samman divas” every year by the Indian National Lok Dal, led by Chautala.

Written by Sukhbir Siwach | Chandigarh |
September 23, 2021 12:53:23 am
Om Prakash Chautala

WIth an eye on making a comeback into Haryana’s politics, former Chief Minister, Om Prakash Chautala, will hold a mega rally in Jind town on September 25.

Jind, incidentally has been traditionally known as the place from where big-ticket political events are launched in the state, since 1986 when Om Prakash Chautala’s father, Chaudhary Devi Lal, had launched his infamous “Nyay Yudh” from here. The upcoming rally will coincide with the 108th birth anniversary of Devi Lal, which is celebrated as “samman divas” every year by the Indian National Lok Dal, led by Chautala.

A split in the INLD following bitter infighting in the Chautala family in 2018, had led to the formation of the Jannayak Janata Party (JJP) of Dushyant Chautala — who is currently Deputy CM of the state. The JJP had won ten seats in the 2019 Vidhan Sabha polls. As many as six of these seats — Julana, Uchana, Narwana, Narnaund, Barwala, Tohana and Uklana— are situated in the nearby areas of Jind while the remaining constituencies are also not too far away.

An INLD leader Rakesh Sihag said, “We hope that the INLD’s vote bank returns to the party again. Dushyant Chautala is currently facing severe criticism from farmers over the issue of three farm laws. This is an opportunity for us to make inroads.”

The farmers were a core vote bank of Dushyant Chautala, having shifted to the JJP from the INLD ahead of the 2019 polls. Ever since the days of Devi Lal, the area has been a stronghold of the Chautalas.

Another reason for holding a rally in Jind is the central location of the town in the state and its easy access for people from different corners of the state. Currently, the INLD has no legislator in the state Assembly. The party’s lone MLA, Abhay Singh Chautala, had resigned to express solidarity with the farmers protesting against the three contentious farm laws. The INLD now hopes to make the September 25 rally a success, wuth party workers pitching to make the event the first big rally for Om Prakash Chautala, who was released from Tihar jail in July this year. After his release, Chautala has been meeting his old associates and supporters,and has already held several public meetings in different corners of the state.

Abhay Singh Chautala said, “There is huge enthusiasm among the people, especially youth and women, for the upcoming event. The rally will set new dimensions in politics of the state.”

Further, the INLD has tried to make the upcoming event attractive by indulging in talks of formation of a “third front” in the country. For the “samman divas” samaroh, the INLD has invited former Prime Minister, HD Deve Gowda, former Punjab CM, Parkash Singh Badal, former UP CM, Mulayam Singh Yadav, former J&K CM, Farooq Abdullah, former Andhra Pradesh CM, N Chandrababu Naidu, TMC leader and former minister, Yaswant Sinha, JDU leader, KC Tyagi, and late Ajit Singh’s son and RLD leader, Jayant Chaudhary to the September 25 event.

Days after his release from jail in July this year, Chautala had announced that he will contact leaders of the Opposition to seek an alternative to the BJP at the national level. “We will announce a Third Front on September 25 itself,” he had stated then. As part of his efforts, Chautala has already met Bihar Chief Minister, Nitish Kumar, Deve Gowda and Mulayam Singh Yadav.

A former leader of the INLD, who is now with the BJP, however, chose to play down the hype surrounding the September 25 rally. “An effective third front is not an easy task at this juncture as most of the state parties have already been allied either with the NDA and the UPA,” he said.

On his part, Dushyant Chautala’s younger brother, Digvijay Chautala, last week, had stated: “The INLD is on the ventilator because of its current leadership. Abhay Singh has brought it to the ventilator because of his self-interest. The INLD leadership should focus on the health of the party.”

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