Jind Assembly seat in Haryana, which goes to a bypoll Monday, has seen some close contests over the year, with the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) either winning or finishing second in the last four elections since 2000. The INLD was formed in 1996.
The bypoll has grabbed attention for several reasons, including a split in the INLD. The Congress has fielded senior leader Randeep Singh Surjewala. The BJP has fielded Krishan Midha, son of deceased INLD MLA Harichand Midha. Following the split in the INLD, party founder Chaudhary Devi Lal’s great-grandson Digvijay Chautala is contesting as an independent; he and his brother Dushyant have floated a new party that is yet to be registered. The INLD itself has fielded Umed Singh Redhu, backed by Digvijay’s uncle Abhay Chautala.
In 2000 and 2005, the INLD finished second to the Congress, running the winner close in 2000 and losing by a much larger margin in 2005. The late Harichand Midha won the seat for the INLD in the next two elections. In 2009, he defeated his Congress rival by nearly 8,000 votes. In 2014, the contest was between Midha and the BJP, which lost by just over 2,000 votes, while the Congress was relegated to a distant third. The BJP polled 24% of the vote in 2014, behind INLD’s 26%. In the previous three polls, the BJP had finished fourth in 2000, fourth in 2005 and seventh in 2009, polling less than 10% each time.
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