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Strong BJP lead in Haryana as infighting plagues Congress

THE ASIAN AGE. | NITIN MAHAJAN
Published : Oct 18, 2019, 1:28 am IST
Updated : Oct 18, 2019, 1:28 am IST

In Haryana, sources said the BJP was aiming for its best-ever performance in the state Assembly.

Manohar Lal Khattar
 Manohar Lal Khattar

New Delhi: With Haryana going to the polls on October 21, the BJP is leading the race while the Congress is grappling with massive infighting, and other Opposition outfits like the Jannayak Janata Party and Indian National Lok Dal are still struggling. The JJP is embattled with alliance issues and the INLD is hit hard with its leader Om Prakash Chautala still behind bars.

Congress chief Sonia Gandhi will be addressing her first rally after taking over as party in Mahendragarh on Friday. Speaking at a rally in Bawani Khera Thursday, defence minister Rajnath Singh stuck to the Article 370 theme, attacking  the Congress for “internationalising” the Kashmir issue. The minister said a Congress leader had rece-ntly met UK Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn in London and held a discussion on the issue of alleged human rights violations in Kashmir. “I want a reply from the Congress. Kashmir is our internal matter. Will there be a discussion on it in other countries. Will you be discussing Kashmir in other countries?” Mr Singh asked.

In Haryana, sources said the BJP was aiming for its best-ever performance in the state Assembly. The party hopes to massively improve upon its 2014 Assembly show in which it secured 49 seats. In the recent Lok Sabha polls, it won all 10 Lok Sabha seats in the state.

BJP president Amit Shah has also set a target of 75-plus seats, and a bid to win a second successive term under the leadership of CM Manohar Lal Khattar, in the Assembly. Polling for the 90-member Haryana Assem-bly will take place on Oct-ober 21, and the results will be declared on October 24.

However, the Opposition parties are trying desperately to put up a fight against the battle-hardened BJP, which has been riding high on the back of a renewed euphoria over aggressive nationalism and the abrogation of Article 370.

The Congress in battling open dissent with the factions of former CM Bhupinder Singh Hooda, the party’s national media in-charge Randeep Singh Surjewala and PCC chief Kumari Selja entangled in their own battles. The situation got so ugly that former PCC chief Ashok Tanwar has threatened to join ranks with the JJP.

The JJP, however, is failing to take off with its allies. While the party had contested the Lok Sabha polls in alliance with the Aam Aadmi Party; for the Assembly polls it announced a similar tieup with the Mayawati-led BSP. However, the alliance, that aimed to consolidate the dalit and Jat vote, later fell through, forcing the party to fight the election alone.

The INLD camp is in a disarray with its leader, former CM O.P. Chautala, cooling his heels in jail. The party’s prospects seem bleak as most of the leadership has seemingly deserted the once-powerful Chautala camp.

Tags: haryana elections