BJP is trying to repeat its performance of 2014 when it won seven out of 10 seats for the first time and also won the Assembly elections.
Chandigarh: The Haryana parliamentary elections are a litmus test for parties in the state. Good performance in these elections will boost the state chance to win Assembly elections due in six months.
As the BJP is trying to repeat its performance of 2014 when it won seven out of 10 seats for the first time and also won the Assembly elections and formed the state government for the first time.
With the Assembly elections just six months away, the state is bracing up for a multi-corner contest with the ruling BJP and Congress being the main contenders at least in the Lok Sabha elections. However, other parties like the INLD, its breakaway faction JJP and AAP have made political dynamics in the elections very interesting.
The BJP is trying to consolidate on non-Jat votes in the state. In the last elections, it ended the hegemony of the Congress-INLD in Haryana. It focussed on non-Jats votes and cobbled together other castes as both the Congress and INLD were seen as Jat-centric parties. The chemistry worked well for the BJP and it notched up 47 Assembly seats and managed to form the government in the state for the first time. The Congress suffered a major embarrassment and slipped to the third position. However, much has changed since 2014 and it is yet to be seen if the BJP's chemistry of consolidating non-Jat votes works again.
The Congress is taking no chances and has finally announced the old war horse Bhupinder Singh Hooda leader of the poll coordination committee. As Jats form around 30 per cent of total electorate and the BJP trying to consolidate non-Jat votes, it was quite important for the Congress to project a strong Jat face as the leader of the party. At a time when INLD is in a shambles with a split in the party after a long feud in the Chautala family, it was even more important to project a Jat leader for the Congress.
The Congress party's decision to give charge of parliamentary campaign to Bhupinder Singh Hooda makes sense as he is the tallest Jat leader in Haryana across all parties. Realising how crucial parliamentary elections are in Haryana in view of Assembly elections six months later, Mr Hooda has expressed desire to contest from Sonepat parliamentary elections immediately after Congress decided to appoint him the head of the campaign committee in the state.
Of the nine Assembly segments under the constituency, five had elected Congress MLAs backed by Mr Hooda in 2014 Assembly elections.
"Hooda has conveyed it to the high command, and there is a good chance he will contest from Sonepat seat. His candidature from there will also help his son Deepender Hooda, MP, who is likely to be fielded again from Rohtak.
Sonepat and Rohtak are adjacent constituencies and a favourable wave for Mr Hooda would yield a positive result for his son too," said Subhash Batra, former state home minister and close aide of Mr Hooda, who is now the national coordinator of All India Kisan Congress.