New Delhi: In a first in Haryana’s electoral history, the ruling BJP made a clean sweep by winning all 10 Lok Sabha seats in the state, while the Congress and Om Prakash Chautala’s Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) faced humiliating defeats. Union Ministers Rao Inderjit Singh (Gurugram) and Krishan Pal Gurjar (Faridabad) won their respective constituencies.
Former Chief Minister and Congress leader Bhupinder Singh Hooda and his son Deepender Hooda had to bite the dust in Sonipat and Rohtak seats, respectively. It was a do-or-die battle for Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar and his predecessor – the “marginalised” Congress leader Bhupinder Hooda. The stakes were high for Hooda in these elections as he had tried to prove that he was still a mass leader and could lead the Congress in the forthcoming Assembly polls.
Hooda was marginalised after the party’s humiliating defeat in the October, 2014 Assembly polls held with him at the helm. In the past 11 out of 17 times, the Congress has won the Jat-dominated Rohtak seat. The Hoodas — Deepender Hooda, his father Bhupinder Hooda and grandfather Ranbir Singh Hooda — have represented Rohtak nine times. Hooda junior was the only Congress candidate among 10 in the state who had managed to win in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls. The BJP had then polled 34.8 per cent of votes, winning seven seats, while the INLD secured two seats.
The other big name who lost in this election was former Union minister Kumari Selja, who was fighting on the Congress ticket from Ambala, a reserved seat. The BJP’s winner Rao Inderjit Singh was contesting from Gurugram, while former Congress state minister Ajay Yadav was pitted against him. Union Minister Krishan Pal Gujjar, who won the Faridabad seat in 2014 with a huge 4.7 lakh margin, was vying to retain the seat. He was facing a challenge from former Congress MP Avtar Singh Bhadana and AAP state chief Navin Jaihind.
Former Chief Minister Chautala’s grandsons — Arjun, Dushyant and Digvijay — who were making their debut in electoral politics, all faced defeats. Arjun and Digvijay Chautala were trying their luck from Kurukshetra and Sonipat seats, respectively, as candidates of the INLD and the Jannayak Janata Party (JJP), a breakaway INLD faction. The JJP and the Aam Aadmi Party had formed an alliance. Amidst allegations of booth capturing, 69.74 per cent of the 1.8 crore electorate in the state cast their votes on May 12. (IANS)
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