Haryana elections: BJP says fight with ‘few known faces’, rolls out plan for 6 Jat heavyweights

Varinder Bhatia
Bhupinder Singh Hooda and Abhay Singh Chautala.

Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar on Wednesday said that the party’s real fight was only with a “few known faces” in the state. Pushing ahead with this assertion, the BJP has already rolled out a battle plan to strategically target six Jat heavyweights in the opposition camp.

These six leaders include Congress’s Randeep Surjewala in Kaithal, former CM Bhupinder Singh Hooda in Garhi Sampla-Kiloi (Rohtak district) and former CLP leader Kiran Choudhry in Tosham (Bhiwani district).

In the Chautala clan, BJP’s prime targets are INLD’s Abhay Chautala from Ellanabad in Sirsa district and JJP’s Naina Chautala from Badhra in Charkhi Dadri district and Dushyant Chautala from Uchana Kalan in Jind district.

Rallies of BJP star campaigners, including PM Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah, have been carefully planned to expand the party in electoral catchment area of these Jat leaders.

Union Minister of Home Affairs, Amit Shah, Wednesday held three rallies in Haryana - first in Kaithal, followed by second one in Loharu, Bhiwani district and third in Meham, Rohtak district.

On October 14, Amit Shah will be addressing rallies in Tohana covering Ratia and Narwana Assembly segments in Sirsa district that is considered by be stronghold of the Indian National Lok Dal.

Shah’s rallies will also cover Assembly segments of Panchkula, Kalka, Karnal, Indri, Nilokheri and Assandh, along with Badshahpur (Gurgaon), Pataudi (Gurgaon) and Badli (Jhajjar) in a single day.

In his three rallies Wednesday, Amit Shah equated Hooda and Chautala families with “termites of democracy”.

“This Congress party and other dynasty-rule parties acted as termites in nation’s democracy. Why only a person who takes birth in a well-to-do family has a right to become Chief Minister? Why not you? Can you become a Chief Minister in Chautala’s party? Can you become a Chief Minister in Hooda’s party? Can anybody become party’s president other than Gandhis in Congress? Can such parties benefit democracy? They are only busy benefiting their families. On the other hand, under PM Modi’s leadership, BJP is busy in benefiting Haryana and our nation,” Amit Shah said during his address in Kaithal. He repeated the same argument during his rallies in Loharu and Meham.

In the coming days, PM will hold three rallies in the state. To counter Kuldeep Bishnoi and other opposition leaders, PM Modi is also expected to address public meetings in Ballabhgarh on October 14, followed by Kurukshetra and Dadri on October 15 and in Hisar on October 18.

Union minister J P Nadda too will be holding public meetings, on October 11, in Assembly segments of Dabwali, Rania and Kalanwali - all considered to be INLD’s strongholds. Same day, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath will address rallies in Sonipat, considered a Congress stronghold. On October 12, BJP’s women wing national president Vijaya Rahatkar will campaign in Dadri and Rohtak Assembly segments, again Congress strongholds.

In a campaign speech on Wednesday, Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar said: “BJP’s family is getting bigger and bigger with each passing day. Good people are there in each party and they are quitting their respective parties and joining BJP because of their belief in our ideology and principles. The fight in Haryana is only with a few known faces. Rest of the seats are clear.”

But the “known faces” that the BJP is directly gunning for are unfazed. Reacting to its tactical campaign, former CM Hooda said: “BJP can even claim they will win 100 out of 90. But the people of Haryana will tell them their real place on October 21. When I became the Chief Minister in 2005 and in 2009, I fulfiled each and every promise that I had made to the people of Haryana. And again this time, all the promises that are made by me will be fulfiled within 24 hours of formation of our government.”

Surjewala too hit back saying: “Mr Amit Shah seems to have forgotten that Kurukshetra is the sacred land. Congress’s Pandavas will defeat the Kauravas of BJP and their conspiracies and ill designs will not work here....We have always strongly opposed the anti-people and wrong policies of BJP and that was the reason that the Sultan of Delhi and the rulers of Haryana are afraid of Kaithal’s voice.”