Political fortunes of Jindals set to take a hit

The alleged involvement of Congress MP from Kurukshetra,Naveen Jindal,in the coal block scam is likely to impact the political future of Haryana’s billionaire Jindal family.

Written by MUKESH BHARDWAJ | Chandigarh | Updated: April 11, 2014 5:46:32 pm

The alleged involvement of Congress MP from Kurukshetra,Naveen Jindal,in the coal block scam is likely to impact the political future of Haryana’s billionaire Jindal family.

Till last week,before the CBI in its fresh FIR in the coal scam accused Jindal of cheating and graft,the family has maintained its position in the elite political class of Haryana. This comes at a time when the state is heading for both Lok Sabha and Assembly polls next year. While Jindal is the Kurukshetra MP,his mother Savitri Jindal is the MLA from Hisar.

The Jindal business empire,which covered sectors like steel,power,mining,oil and gas,was estimated at $8.2 billion last year when as chairperson of the O P Jindal Group and Haryana MLA,Savitri Jindal figured on top of the Forbes Magazine list for wealthiest women in the country. She was also the 7th richest person in India and 56th in the world.

The family fortunes have been on a slide ever since Savitri failed to retain her position in the Haryana cabinet after Hooda took over for a second term in 2009. Since the Congress had to adjust all the seven independents who supported the government,Savitri was kept out of the cabinet despite being a minister in the previous government.

Naveen,meanwhile,was in the race for the Haryana Congress chief’s post. Not only did that not materialise,he also failed to bag any Central level post despite his second victory as MP from Kurukshetra.

The family had started its political journey with its patriarch O P Jindal being elected to the Haryana Assembly from Hisar in 1991 on a Haryana Vikas Party (HVP) ticket. The HVP was then led former state chief minister Bansi Lal,who formed the party after breaking away from the Congress.

In 1996,O P Jindal was fielded from Kurukshetra in the Lok Sabha polls,which he won on a HVP ticket. He,however,lost the seat to Kailasho Saini of INLD in 1998. Naveen avenged his father’s defeat by winning the seat in 2004 Lok Sabha election on a Congress ticket.

Meanwhile,senior Jindal fell apart with Bansi Lal and formed his own Sarv jatiye Morcha,which was later merged with the Congress. The family has since then been with the the Congress and are close to several top level leaders. In 2005,O P Jindal lost his life in a helicopter crash when he was the state power minister.

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