Hisar, Haryana, Sept 17: With bypolls for Hisar constituency just around the corner, the spiraling verbal duel between the three key candidates—Congress, INLD and HJC-BJP—has made the race for the Lok Sabha seat more gripping.
Haryana Janhit Congress (BL) and INLD, which announced their candidates for the seat much earlier than the ruling Congress which named its candidate only last evening, have launched aggressive poll campaigns.
The Hisar seat had fallen vacant after the death of former Chief Minister and HJC founder Bhajan Lal in June.
The three contestants—Lal's younger son, Kuldeep Bishnoi (42), representing the HJC-BJP combine, Congress' three-time MP from Hisar, Jai Prakash (58) and INLD President and former Chief Minister Om Prakash Chautala's MLA son, Ajay Singh Chautala (50) -- will see themselves locked in a riveting tussle.
Launching a scathing attack on the Chautala family during his campaigning, Bishnoi, a former MP from Bhiwani who floated HJC nearly four years back after parting ways with Congress, claimed that even O P Chautala had to bite dust from Hisar in 1984 and his son Ajay will prove to be a “no matcher”. “People have rejected the INLD, during whose regime corruption grew manifold. There are cases pending before the courts against the Chautalas,” Bishnoi alleged.
Taking a dig at the Congress, Bishnoi said, “Their government is not of leaders, but dealers. It's the government during whose regime big builders and realtors have benefited the most at the cost of farmers. People have rejected Congress, which is neck deep in scams”.
Bishnoi also promised a “new ray of hope” for the people, claiming that HJC and its ally BJP will ensure all-round development of Hisar, adding, “If voted to power in the next state Assembly polls, we will change the picture of Haryana for good”.
O P Chautala and Ajay Singh, INLD's Secretary General, on the other hand, have been attacking the recent tie-up between the HJC and BJP, saying “two minuses can not become a plus”.
“BJP has no base in Haryana. Bishnoi could not even hold his MLAs together (five HJC MLAs switched over to Congress after the October 2009 Assembly polls), how can he control a state,” Ajay Singh said while campaigning here. He lashed out at the Congress, saying, “Corruption and the party were two sides of the same coin”.
“People are in deep misery during the Congress rule. They have crushed the common man with record price rise. The Hooda Government in the State has also failed on all fronts.. it is busy carving out policies benefiting realtors,” said Ajay Singh, a two-time MLA from Rajasthan.
Congress' Jai Prakash, a former Union Deputy Minister, has won the Hisar seat on three occasions as a candidate of three different parties. In 1989 he won on Janta Dal ticket, in 1996 on Haryana Vikas Party (now merged with Congress) and in 2004 as a Congress candidate. He, however, has also tasted defeat on three occasions from Hisar—in 1991, 1998 and 2009. In the 2009 Lok Sabha polls, Jaiparkash finished third behind the HJC and INLD candidates.
“Our development works will speak for itself,” said the Congress candidate, adding that the Hooda-led Congress government had ensured all round development of the state and would endeavour to maintain the growth momentum. PTI