Chandigarh, Aug 31 (PTI) Former MP Ajay Singh Chautala was appointed the national president of the Jannayak Janta Party (JJP) on Monday.
The decision was taken at a national executive meeting of the party held in Panchkula. Chautala is serving a jail term in connection with a teachers' recruitment scam in Haryana in 2000 and is currently on parole.
'Dr Ajay Singh Chautala, ex-MP, is declared to be national president of Jannayak Janta Party in a national executive meeting at Panchkula,' the JJP tweeted.
A party leader said the JJP's national executive unanimously decided to entrust the responsibility to him.
JJP sources said when the party was registered with the Election Commission last year, it's youth leader and Ajay Chautala's younger son, Digvijay Chautala, was named as the party president.
However, Digvijay Chautala did not serve in that role, they said, adding it is only now that the party has formally announced a president.
Ajay Chautala (59), grandson of former deputy prime minister late Devi Lal, is a co-founder of the JJP. The party was formed in December 2018.
Ajay Chautala's son and Deputy Chief Minister of Haryana Dushyant Chautala and the party's state unit chief Nishan Singh were also present at the meeting.
Singh proposed Ajay's name after which the national executive was unanimous in announcing him as the national president. 'At the JJP's national executive meeting, party's co-founder and former MP honourable Dr Ajay Singh Chatuala was made the party's national president. I extend best wishes to him from the party organisation and our workers,' Dushyant Chautala said in a tweet in Hindi.
The JJP, which won 10 seats in the Haryana Assembly polls, extended support to the BJP after the saffron party could manage to win only 40 of the 90 seats in 2019 state assembly polls. They formed a coalition government in the state.
Senior JJP leader Dushyant Chautala was made the deputy chief minister in the new government.
The JJP was formed on December 9, 2018 after a split in the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) due to infighting in the Chautala family.
Ajay Chautala, son of former chief minister Om Prakash Chautala, became a Lok Sabha MP from Bhiwani in 1999 and a Rajya Sabha MP in 2004. He was elected as an MLA from the Dabwali constituency in Sirsa district in 2009.
He entered active politics in the 1980s and won his first election in 1989 from the assembly seat of Dantaramgarh in Rajasthan. He also won from Rajasthan's Nohar seat in 1998.
Speaking to reporters in Panchkula after the party meeting, Chautala said, 'I have been entrusted with a new responsibility and I will take every party worker along to further strengthen the party not just in Haryana but at national level too.' He said many important suggestions came up during the meeting for better coordination between the party and the BJP 'which we will discuss with our alliance partner so that in near future people get better facilities'.
The party meeting also discussed the upcoming bypoll in the Baroda assembly constituency in Sonipat. The assembly seat fell vacant in April following the demise of sitting Congress legislator Sri Krishan Hooda.
Ajay Chautala said the JJP and the BJP will contest the bypoll jointly.
On August 22, the JJP announced its 12-member national executive and presidents for its units in three states.
Dushyant Chautala, who is also one of the founding members of the JJP, and Dr K C Bangar were appointed senior vice-presidents of the party.
Over a month ago, the JJP had dissolved all its units, including the national and the state executives, paving the way for a revamp of the one-and-half-year-old party's organisational structure.
Eyeing to expand its base, the JJP has also appointed presidents of its units in Delhi, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh. PTI SUN VSD IJT