Asserting that people of Haryana want change in government, Jannayak Janata Party (JJP) chief Dushyant Chautala said the BJP might have money and media power but he has manpower and that will uproot the Manohar Lal Khattar government from the state. “Yes, they have money power and media power. But BJP doesn’t have one thing that we have – manpower. The power of our karyakartas and the love we are being showered with, the hard work they have put in – in front of all this, BJP’s money power is nothing. Even media power holds no importance,” Chautala told indianexpress.com when asked how his new party will take on the BJP which is in power in Centre as well as the state.
Chautala is contesting the elections from Uchana Kalan against sitting BJP MLA Prem Lata who is the wife of former union minister Birendra Singh. He agrees the fight is tough given that the Assembly constituency is BJP’s stronghold. “Contest is always tough. Chaudhary Devi Lal (former deputy PM and Chautala’s great grandfather) had never contested from any easy constituency and I am only following in his footsteps. Uchhana has been a BJP stronghold since long and we have tried to win the seat earlier. In the current situation, I believe, people want change. For the last 11 years, I have worked with the people of Uchhana and their love will make us win the seat with a huge majority.”
Chautala, who founded the JJP after being expelled from the INLD, believes his party will perform better than INLD and Congress. “INLD has just 1.8 per cent vote share and its existence is reduced to a lone Vidhan Sabha seat in the whole of Haryana. And Congress’s rifts are out in the open. Their former president left the party. Majority of its members are contesting as Independents. Congress will be decimated in the state, in the same manner it has happened nationwide,” said Chautala while on his way to attend a rally in Kharkhoda where Pawan Kumar, a BJP rebel, is contesting on JJP ticket.
Elaborating on the issues on which JJP is taking on the BJP, Chautala said, “The main issue in Haryana is that of unemployment. Now, there is 28 per cent unemployment in the state. which is the highest in the country. Another important issue is that of crime, be it against women or traders. We are number four in terms of crime rate in the country. Every day there is one case of murder, three rapes and four cases of dacoities. Incidents of chain snatching have also increased. According to NCRB, Haryana has left behind even Bihar in crime graph. The condition of farmers is another matter of concern. The BJP talks about doubling their income but even the Agriculture Minister couldn’t do anything for them. They claim in their election affidavit that their income has doubled in the last five years. All this proves the scams that the BJP has done in the past five years — be it the Rs 1000 crore kilometre scheme or Rs 5,000 crore overloading scam. The people of Haryana will vote keeping all this in mind.”
Lashing out at the BJP for playing the nationalism card in every election, Chautala said, “Will the two Gujaratis teach nationalism to us.”
“BJP is the party of mota bhai and chota bhai and they talk about nationalism. The number of people joining the Army and having died serving the nation are maximum from Haryana. We are very proud of them. Which other state can be more nationalist than us? Will these two Gujaratis, in whose state people fear joining the Army, teach us nationalism? All this is BJP’s political agenda and I believe that the people of Haryana have begun understanding all this,” said Chautala, who became the youngest MP in 2014 by defeating Kuldeep Bishnoi in Hisar.
Recently, Chautala had tweeted a report alleging corruption in recruitment in the state electricity board. even as his father Ajay Chautala and grandfather Om Prakash Chautala are serving a ten-year jail term under the Prevention of Corruption Act over irregularities in recruitment of teachers.
When asked how difficult it is for him to convince the public that his father and grandfather are not corrupt, Chautala said, “What is a corruption scam? Where there is an exchange of money or giving a job to nephew or niece. My father was a Member of Parliament. He was not even in the state assembly. There is 180-page court judgment that says there is not even a penny involved in this so-called scam. Not any relative or party worker was involved in the job. But it was made out to be a scam. It was for political vengeance that this conspiracy was strategised. Dr Ajay Singh Chautala became the target. His name was not even there and he was given 10 years of imprisonment.”