As the Haryana Assembly elections are around the corner, the polling campaign is in full swing. Karnal is currently held by Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar. In the 2014 Haryana Assembly elections, Khattar had defeated Jai Parkash Gupta. Manohar Lal Khattar had bagged 58.78 per cent of the votes.
Where 12 candidates including Independents have entered the fray from Karnal this year, Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar, a first-time MLA, does not seem to face any major challenges as no prominent leader is pitted against him.
Against Khattar, Congress has fielded a little known face, Tarlochan Singh, while the Jannayak Janata Party (JJP) has fielded Tej Bahadur Yadav, who was sacked from the BSF in 2017 after he had uploaded a video on social media complaining about the quality of food served to the BSF personnel.
Meanwhile, the BJP seems to be confident about a big win for Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal in the assembly elections, with a margin of more than 100,000 votes. The opposition appears to have given up on the Karnal seat and the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) has not even fielded a candidate.
In 2014, Lal had won with a margin of nearly 64,000 votes against former Congress leader and two-time MLA from Karnal, Jai Prakash Gupta, who had finished second while contesting as an independent.
Earlier this year, Gupta joined the BJP and is now an active part of the CM's campaign in the constituency. However, the BJP expects neither Yadav nor Singh to pose a challenge to Lal.
Lal has not campaigned much in the constituency. But the state unit of the BJP has launched a campaign, 'Main Bhi Manohar', with young party activists campaigning in Karnal sporting the slogan and pictures of the CM.
BJP leaders said the mood in Karnal reflects in the entire “GT Belt” of the state, from Sonipat to Panipat, Karnal and Kurukshetra, a region which the party had swept in 2014 as well.
The Karnal Vidhan Sabha is located in Karnal district of Haryana. According to the 2011 census, the population of the region in 334139 out of which 9.63 per cent in rural and 90.37 per cent is urban population.
The Scheduled castes and Scheduled tribe ratio are 12.96 and 0 respectively. As per the 2019 voter list, there are 234738 electorates and 222 polling stations in the constituency.
Meanwhile, the voter turnout in the 2014 assembly elections was 67.84 per cent whereas it was 62.02 per cent in 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
The Bhartiya Janta Party, the Indian National Congress, and the INLD got 58.78 per cent, 9.12 per cent, and 12.6 per cent votes respectively in 2014 Assembly elections while 74.65 per cent, 19.84 per cent and 0.39 per cent in 2019 Parliamentary elections respectively.