The Haryana BJP election committee has not recommended the name of any senior minister in Manohar Lal Khattar government as possible candidate for the upcoming Lok Sabha polls. However, Minister of State (MOS) in Haryana government, Nayab Saini, is seen as a favourite of the state leaders for Kurukshetra seat where party MP Raj Kumar Saini has rebelled by forming a new political outfit.
“It is clear that senior ministers won’t contest the Lok Sabha elections. There were no discussions on the names of senior ministers in the meeting of (BJP) Haryana election committee. However, the final call has to be taken by the Central Election Committee of the party,” said BJP state president Subhash Barala in Chandigarh on Saturday.
The state election committee had met recently to discuss names of probable candidates. Barala told The Sunday Express that there was no possibility of any alliance with the INLD for the upcoming polls.
Haryana Education Minister Ram Bilas Sharma’s name was doing rounds as a probable candidate from Karnal constituency while there were talks regarding Finance Minister Captain Abhimanyu’s candidature from Hisar, Rohtak or Sonipat. Former Chief Minister Om Prakash Chautala’s grandson Dushyant Chautala had won from Hisar in 2014.
Haryana Agriculture Minister Om Dhankar’s name was also doing rounds for Rohtak Parliamentary constituency – a seat that former Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda’s son Deepender Singh Hooda has been winning since 2005. Now, a three-time MP Arvind Sharma and paralympian Deepa Malik, who recently joined the BJP, are seen among probable candidates for Rohtak seat. While Sharma is keen to contest from Karnal but BJP leaders Sanjay Bhatia and Advocate Ved Pal are seen as front runners from this seat.
Sharma had earlier represented Karnal twice – in 2005 and 2009 – as Congress candidate apart from winning Sonipat as an independent in 1996. In 2014, he had joined the BSP after he, as a Congress candidate, lost the Karnal seat to BJP’s Ashwini Chopra, a media baron.
The BJP may like to field wrestler Yogeshwar Dutt against Deepender Hooda. However, according to sources, Dutt would like to contest from Sonipat if the saffron party doesn’t renominate its MP Ramesh Kaushik again from the seat. Union Minister Birender Singh wants to field his son and IAS officer Brijendra Singh from Sonipat or Hisar constituency.
From Bhiwani-Mahendragarh, party MP Dharambir is again seen as a front runner apart from party leader Sudha Yadav. Ranbir Gangwa, an INLD MLA who resigned from the membership of Vidhan Sabha after recently joining BJP, is front-runner for the saffron party ticket from Hisar. Subhash Barala may also be party’s choice for Hisar.
Apart from Hisar, the INLD had also won Sirsa seat in 2014 from where former IRS officer Sunita Duggal is a probable BJP candidate. Congress may field its state unit president Ashok Tanwar from Sirsa.
Union Minister Rao Inderjit Singh is likely to be fielded from Gurugram again where another Union Minister Krishan Pal Gurjar may be party’s choice for Faridabad seat again. BJP MP from Ambala Rattan Lal Kataria or his wife Banto may be party’s choice again from this reserved seat.