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Haryana polls: Fifth straight battle between two Jat clans

Saturday - October 12, 2019 3:14 pm , Category : INDIA
Uchana Kalan (Haryana), Oct 12 (IANS) It is the fifth straight political battle between two prominent Jat families of Haryana from this Assembly seat in Jind district.

BJP's sitting legislator Prem Lata, 59, wife of former Union Minister Birender Singh, who is the grandson of Jat icon Chotu Ram, is taking on former parliamentarian Dushyant Chautala, 31, great grandson of former Deputy Prime Minister Devi Lal.
The former is labelled as the lone candidate for whom the saffron party gave up its principal against dynastic politics, while the latter, the grandson of five-time Chief Minister Om Prakash Chautala, is tagged as an outsider.
A visit to villages dotted across the constituency reveal that they are totally bereft of basic amenities despite being ruled by the top political families of the state.
"We have specially come to see the grandson of (Om Prakash) Chautala. He has given jobs to so many unemployed youth, who are now well settled in life, and he is facing jail for them," octogenarian Chatro Devi of Dahola village told IANS.
She said though Dushyant is in the fray from INLD's breakaway faction the JJP (Jannayak Janata Party) but he is the blood of the Chautala family, who did a lot for this area.
Another villager Mohan Nehra said there is anger against BJP candidate Prem Lata this time despite development in the area as she is the only one who was re-nominated by the party by ignoring its principal to shun dynastic politics.
"If kin of other party leaders like Rao Inderjit Singh is ignored, why ticket was given to Birender Singh's wife," he asked.
Clarifying herself on anti-dynastic politics, housewife-turned-politician Prem Lata, who defeated Dushyant by 7,480 votes in the 2014 Assembly polls from this Jat-dominated seat, is trying to convince voters by saying that the dynasty politics theory "does not apply to me as I got the ticket after my husband has resigned from the Union Cabinet".
Uchana Kalan has been a traditional bastion of her husband who represented the seat five times since 1977.
In the last Lok Sabha elections, Dushyant lost the Hisar seat to Prem Lata's bureaucrat-turned-politician son Bijendra Singh.
Birender Singh, who had joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in 2014 after leading a revolt against then Congress Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda, is countering his wife's main opponent by labelling him an 'outsider'.
To counter the allegations, Dushyant is following in his great grandfather Devi Lal's footsteps by preferring to stay at night in a village and enjoying meals with villagers at their homes.
Dushyant won the 2014 Lok Sabha election as the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) candidate.
During his campaign, he is talking about issues apart from lack of local development.
His main rival is focusing more on overall development of the state without discrimination and provision of jobs to the youth on merit and transparency.
Dushyant, an alumni from Lawrence School in Sanawar in Himachal Pradesh, parted ways with the INLD in December 2018 after a bitter split in the party and the Chautala family.
Dushyant's father, Ajay Singh Chautala, is the elder son of INLD president Om Prakash Chautala, who defeated Birender Singh by 621 votes in the 2009 Assembly polls.
Being a ruling party legislator, Prem Lata too has many credits to claim in her second innings.
Her achievements include setting up a grain market, a 50-bed hospital, an air-conditioned multipurpose hall, gymnasium in every village and a Kendriya Vidyalaya.
Uchana Kalan's grain market is known for trading wheat, cotton and paddy.
"It's again a straight fight between Prem Lata and Dushyant. Both Jat leaders have been quite active in the constituency," local resident Naresh Aggarwal said.
The Congress has fielded greenhorn Balram Katwal.
In 1984, Birender Singh, a Congress candidate, had defeated Dushyant's grandfather Om Prakash Chautala from the Hisar Lok Sabha seat. Later, Om Prakash Chautala defeated Birender Singh from Uchana Kalan in the 2009 Assembly elections by a narrow margin of 621 votes.
As per the caste mathematics, Jats are the dominant group and account for one-third of total votes in the constituency that boasts a literacy rate of 72 per cent.
Assembly elections in Haryana will take place on October 21. The counting of ballots will be held on October 24.
(Vishal Gulati can be reached at vishal.g@ians.in)

--IANS vg/kr

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