The ongoing feud within the Chautala clan reached its crescendo on Saturday as ousted Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) leader Ajay Chautala officially decided to part ways and “leave behind the party symbol for his brother Abhay Chautala”. Ajay also declared the formation of a new political party, whose name is expected to be revealed on December 9.
While addressing a rally in Jind, Ajay, who is currently out on furlough from Tihar jail, said, “I came out of jail on October 5 ( on two-week long furlough). We had called workers here. The executive body today has decided to resign from the INLD.”
“I am leaving my claim over INLD and the party symbol for my brother Billu (Abhay Chautala),” he added.
The infighting within the party began with the expulsion of party MP from Hisar constituency, Dushyant Chautala and his younger brother Digvijay Chautala — both sons of Ajay — by party chief Om Prakash Chautala, who accused the duo of indulging in anti-party activities and indiscipline. Ajay too was ousted from the party when he decided to stand by his sons.
Infuriated over the party’s decision, Ajay, his wife, who is also an MLA from Dabwali, and their sons began holding rallies across Haryana where they accused Ajay’s brother Abhay Chautala of hatching a conspiracy against them.
The two brothers had announced to hold a party’s executive body meeting today. Abhay, who has the support of 12 MLAs, also held a meeting in Chandigarh today.
Before leaving for Jind, Ajay told reporters in Sirsa, “Aaj Jind mein naya jhanda aur naya danda haad diya jayega (Today, a new flag and a new pole will be pitched in Jind).”
At the rally venue in Jind, INLD’s party name and symbol — spectacle (chashma) — were missing from the posters. While Om Prakash figured in the banners with Ajay, Dushyant and Digvijay, Abhay was missing.
Abhay Chautala and party’s state unit chief Ashok Arora accompanied with 12 MLAs also held a meeting of the state executive body.
INLD has a strength of 18 MLAs in the Haryana Vidhan Sabha. Abhay is the Leader of Opposition in Haryana in the assembly. The party has decided to enter into an alliance with the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) to contest the 2019 Lok Sabha polls and assembly elections.
“All the MLAs are with us and shall continue to be with us,” Ashok Arora told reporters before the meeting with Abhay Chautala.
The 12 MLAs have been putting up in a resort in Timber Trail, around 20 kms away from Chandigarh.
(With ENS inputs)