The Jind bypoll will be held just months ahead of Lok Sabha and Assembly elections in Haryana and soon after the civic polls in the state, in which the BJP won all five mayoral seats. On the other hand, the Congress recently won the Assembly elections in the three Hindi heartland states of Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan. In these circumstances, the outcome of the Jind bypoll could indicate the sentiments of voters from all castes and communities and the state of play in what is recognised as both ‘khapland’and political heart of the state.
All major political rallies in Haryana have historically been held in Jind. Hisar MP Dushyant Chautala announced his Jannayak Janata Party (JJP) at a rally in Jind on December 9. It makes sense for the Congress to field a heavyweight like its communication department in-charge and Kaithal MLA Randeep Singh Surjewala in order to send out a message that it is taking the bypoll seriously, especially after the disappointment in the mayoral polls.
With Dushyant announcing the candidature of his brother Digvijay for the seat, it is important for the Congress to not allow the consolidation of rural votes behind the JJP candidate. The BJP candidate is Krishan Middha, son of two-time INLD MLA Hari Chand, whose death has necessitated the by-election. After his father’s demise, Midha joined the BJP in November 2018. The BJP’s choice of candidate is also based on the ratio of urban-rural voters and caste equations in the constituency, ensuring a three-way fight for the seat.
The Jind Assembly segment has over 1.7 lakh voters, more than 1.07 lakh of whom live in the urban areas. According to figures put together by local politicians, almost half of the total voters belong to Backward Classes and Scheduled Castes. There are around 44,000 Jat voters, around 15,000 Brahmins, and a couple of thousand Punjabis. There are around 11,500 Mahajan (Baniya) voters.