INLD looks at revival efforts before the Haryana Assembly elections
The Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) appears to be staring towards the future. For 15 years, the regional outfit created by former Deputy Prime Minister Chaudhary Devi Lal has been out of power. Since the INLD’s guardian and five-time CM of Haryana, Om Prakash Chautala, was sentenced to 10 years in jail in January 2013, the party has been passing through one of its worst phases.
After losing the elections three times consecutively since 2005, the upcoming battle for the Haryana assembly is a make-or-break one for the INLD. With 83-year-old Chautala in Tihar jail, the party lacks a collective appeal that brings a leader to stand up. Such is the INLD’s plight that its vote share fell to 1.90% in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, which was 22.43% in 2004.
With the Haryana elections less than 100 days away, the party is trying to stay strict. Its only hope is the old warhorse, Chautala. Hopefully, INLD rank-and-file is eagerly waiting for August 8 when Delhi high court will decide if he can be prematurely released from jail.
Chautala, who suffers from 60% permanent disability, had petitioned the high court after the Centre in July 2018 floated a special remission policy to commemorate the 150 birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.
The New INLD chief said that “We are confident that Chautala will be out of jail… And if that happens, the political scene in Haryana will change”.
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Recently, the INLD patriarch handpicked 74-year-old Dhalia, for the task of rebuilding the party.
Under a rebuilding exercise started on July 6, Abhay and Dhalia will interact with party workers and voters of all 90 assembly constituencies this month.
Former DGP Malik said, “The objective is to hold three meetings a day in three adjoining districts with three different segments of society,” ex-DGP Malik said.
Dhalia said that the INLD introduced a multi-dimensional plan to re-activate the cadre by including all the 16 cells of the party. The party has activated these cells representing the ex-servicemen, scheduled castes, jats etc. from state to the village level.