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One of the major reasons for BJP's meteorological rise in Haryana is why Congress is not INLD

One of the major reasons for BJP's meteorological rise in Haryana is why Congress is not INLD

Since the Modi wave in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, the Congress wave has been going on in the country, with the Congress finishing last in a multi-polar contest in almost every state, where the BJP achieved unprecedented success.

The most prominent example of this is Tripura where Congress’ vote-share shifted lock, stock and barrel to the BJP and resulted in the fall of the Left government in the state and first full majority BJP government in the North-East.

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However, as far as Haryana is concerned, this may not be the case. While the old-fashioned party may suffer losses in terms of overall vote-share, former Chief Minister Om Prakash Chautala's Indian National Lok Dal (INLD), a state party, has taken a real hit.

For reference, a sample of this: In the Lok Sabha elections held earlier this year, INLD's vote-share in Haryana was less than 24 per cent to 2 per cent in the 2014 assembly elections as well as general elections. It was less than this. The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) received 3.6 per cent of the total votes polled.

Even during the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, when the BJP, immersed in the saffron wave, won seven of Haryana's 10 parliamentary seats, the INLD managed to capture its vote-share, which was only 25.8 per cent in 2009. It was 24.4 per cent in 2014 and won two parliamentary seats. Similarly, during the assembly elections held at the end of that year, the INLD emerged as the second party with 19 seats and more than 24 per cent vote-share. By this time, it was the Congress which had to bear the brunt of the rise of the BJP.

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In the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, however, the INLD has emerged as a bigger casualty than the Congress. In six of the 10 parliamentary seats, the party stood at number five and stood fourth in the remaining four. If you look at the results of the Lok Sabha on the assembly constituencies in Haryana, only seven of them are in the top three.

Om Prakash Chautala’s grandson and INLD leader Karan Chautala said that Lok Sabha results cannot be equated with state elections and that the party is confident of performing well in the assembly polls.

“You cannot compare the Lok Sabha elections with the assembly elections, the two are completely different. Chautala told News18.com that it was a national election, it is a specific area. "

Sanjay Kumar of the Center for the Studies of Developing Societies (CSDS) agreed that voter behaviour varies between state and general elections, stating that INLD's losses were significant and extraordinary.

“As the vote-share of the corresponding party (BJP) increased from 34 per cent in 2014 to more than 50 per cent this year, it is natural that others would face a decline. But more than that, the enormity of INLD’s fall [in vote-share] is not natural at all,”

“People were voting for Modi and INLD was not seen as an option,”

The reasons

The newly formed JJP, although failing to make any major impact and being overshadowed by the BJP’s dominance, fared better than INLD with nearly 5 per cent of the vote-share (JJP had contested in alliance with the Aam Aadmi Party). Dushyant, who had won the Hisar Lok Sabha seat in 2014, finished second this time.

"Indian voters, except those who are traditional supporters of the party, normally don't want to waste their vote. If there has been a split in the party, then people don't see you as a viable party whatever may have been the strength of the party in the past. The infighting within the party and the image of the leaders of the party that all resulted in what finally happened to the party," Kumar explained.

Meanwhile, several leaders have left the party since the Lok Sabha debacle and the upcoming assembly have virtually become a battle for INLD’s survival and its future in Haryana’s politics.

Following a rift within the party, INLD suffered a vertical split with Hisar MP Dushyant Chautala (Karan Chautala’s cousin) floating his own party in 2018 — Jananayak Janata Party (JJP). Analysts view this as one of the more significant and immediate reasons for the party’s drubbing in the general elections.

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Karan Chautala, however, didn’t seem bothered about the split. "Parties' fortunes depend on the cadre and not on the leader. Chaudhary Devi Lal Ji and the Chautala Saheb believed in the power of Karyakartas and held them in utmost respect. INLD's cadre is still strong,"

SOURCE: NEWS 18

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