Feuding Chautala clan members spat over Elenabad bypoll

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Chandigarh, Mar 14 (PTI) INLD leader Abhay Singh Chautala, who had resigned as Ellenabad MLA over farmers' issue, on Sunday dared his brother and JJP chief Ajay Singh Chautala and his family members, including Deputy CM Dushyant Chautala, to contest from the seat vacated by him.

Asked about the possibility that he may have to face a JJP candidate in the Ellenabad bypoll, which though is yet to be announced, Abhay Chautala quipped, “People from my constituency will tackle them.” Recalling a recent poser by a reporter on the possibility of his nephew Digvijay Chautala, Ajay Chautala’s son, facing him in the Ellenabad bypoll, Abhay said as having told the reporter, “Why Digvijay, why not his father Ajay or brother Dushyant?” “After all, they all have been claiming that I reached the assembly because of them,” he recalled as having told the reporter earlier.

“Now, let all four of them (also referring to Ajay Chautala's MLA wife Naina Chautala) come (and contest from Ellenabad) and they will know their worth,” Abhay, the younger son of Haryana’s former Chief Minister and present INLD supremo Om Prakash Chautala, said.

The Jannayak Janata Party, an ally of the ruling BJP in Haryana, came into existence in December 2018 after the split of the Indian National Lok Dal, founded by former Deputy Prime Minister Devi Lal, the late Chautala clan patriarch.

The 90-member Haryana assembly presently has two seats vacant.

They are Ellenabad in Sirsa district, falling vacant after the resignation by Abhay Chautala and the Kalka assembly seat falling vacant after the disqualification of a Congress legislator owing to his conviction in a 10-year-old case.

Abhay Chautala also said the result of the bypoll for the Ellenabad seat will also decide “who is the real heir of Chaudhary Devi Lal and who can take forward his policies”.

“People of this constituency will put their stamp on” the “true heir of Devi Lal in the Ellenabad bypoll, he asserted.

Referring to several JJP leaders facing farmers protest in villages for allegedly not standing with them against the Centre's farm laws, Abhay Chautala said, “In our (native) Chautala village (in Sirsa), on Ajay Singh's birthday (a few days ago) people raised slogans against them. If they are facing opposition in their village, where else will they be welcome?” “They cannot enter their own village. They enter it only during the night,” he claimed.

JJP leader Digvijay Singh Chautala, meanwhile, hit back at his uncle Abhay Chautala.

“Abhay Ji's desire to become the political heir of Chaudhary Devi Lal has destroyed him and his party INLD,” Digvijay said in a statement.

Digvijay Chautala said Chaudhary Devi Lal, his great grandfather, was not only a man but an institution in himself.

He said “many people in many states entered politics holding his fingers”.

The JJP leader said Om Prakash Chautala too had once said Devi Lal's heirs are the people of this country.

He said the people still remember the public welfare work done by Devi Lal and expect elected representatives to follow his policies.

“But Abhay Chautala has always been hungry for power and want to grab it by seeking to dub himself as the political heir of Chaudhary Devi Lal. On the contrary, we have been following the path shown by Devi Lal ji in a bid to fulfil his dreams,” he claimed.

Dushyant Chautala has also often dubbed Abhay Chautala in the past as a 'non-serious politician'. PTI SUN VSD RAX RAX