The BJP on Sunday declared candidates for two Lok Sabha seats in Haryana, picking Union Steel minister Chaudhary Birender Singh’s IAS officer son, Brijendra, for Hisar and former Congress MP Arvind Sharma, who recently joined the BJP, for Rohtak.
Hisar and Rohtak are considered strongholds of Bhajan Lal (INLD) and Bhupinder Singh Hooda (Congress) families,respectively. Polling will held in Haryana on May 12.
Immediately after Brijendra’s candidature was announced, his father said he has offered to resign from the Cabinet and Rajya Sabha “to send across a message of anti-dynastic politics”. “I am ready to let go of my remaining three-and-a-half years of Rajya Sabha tenure and would like to resign from the ministership too. I have informed BJP chief Amit Shah,” the Union minister said. “BJP has always been against dynastic politics. I have expressed my wish to quit electoral politics, not active politics. The final decision shall be taken by the party.”
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Birender said he will be campaigning for Brijendra in Hisar and for other BJP candidates in Haryana, Rajasthan and western UP.
Asked if his son has taken voluntary retirement, the Union minister said, “He resigned from the service three days ago. In another 2-3 days, the process should be complete”.
Birender left the Congress and joined the BJP in 2014 after revolting against Hooda, then chief minister. His wife Prem Lata is a BJP MLA from Uchana Kalan constituency in Jind.
Brijendra, a 1998-batch IAS officer, said he respects his father’s decision but added that “it puts more responsibility” on his shoulders.
In Rohtak, BJP has fielded Arvind Sharma banking on the non-Jat communities. There are approximately three lakh Brahmin votes in the constituency. A Brahmin leader, Sharma is from Majra village in Bahadurgarh town of Rohtak. He represented Sonipat as an Independent MP in 1996. He was elected to Lok Sabha from Karnal as a Congress candidate in 2004 and 2009. After losing the 2014 polls, he joined BSP ahead of the Assembly polls the same year. Last month, he quit the BSP and joined the BJP.
Sharma will take on Congress’s three-time MP from Rohtak Deepender Hooda.