News analysis: Opposition to disturbances as soon as Haryana assembly elections come closer
The opposition parties of Haryana are complete upset before the 2019 assembly elections in the state. In the recent Lok Sabha Elections, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) broke out after a crushing defeat at the hands of three major opposition parties – the Congress, the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) and the Jannayak Janta Party (JJP).
The fringe players like the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and the Swaraj India do not have the political reach and the ability to make a dent on their own and are just poll spoilers. The ruling BJP in power seems to have benefited after the victorious performance in the recent parliamentary elections. The election schedule will be announced soon by the Election Commission.
CHANGE OF GUARD IN THE CONGRESS
The Congress high command seems to have damaged the electoral prospects so that there is a delay in the change of guard in the state. By appointing Rajya Sabha member Kumari Selja as the new state Congress president and two-time chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda as the leader of the Congress Legislature Party (CLP) and chairman of the election management committee, the party high command has made a belated effort to stall its plummeting fortunes and pep up the demoralised workers.
Senior journalist and Haryana worker VP Prabhakar say the delay in decision making will harm the Congress. He said, “The party high command slept over matters of immediate importance for over three months after the Lok Sabha results. And even now, it will be difficult to unite the warring factions in the party. The biggest problem is that Congress high command does not intervene effectively to prevent factionalism in the state unit”.
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From being the dominant opposition party in the assembly, the INLD has been reduced to a marginal player following the split in the Chautala family, leading to the formation of Dushyant Chautala’s JJP and subsequent desertions. The INLD once appeared in a fierce form after an alliance with the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP). However, the partnership ended after the split in the party. The INLD badly lost the Lok Sabha polls with all its candidates losing their deposits. Prabhakar said, “Even if they get together now, there seems to be little hope for the duo”.
THE DRIFTING JJP
The brainchild of Dushyant Chautala, the over-ambitious grandson of former chief minister Om Prakash Chautala, the JJP was considered an emerging force in the state. Its spectacular performance in Jind by-election, where Dushyant’s younger brother, Digvijay Chautala, made an impressive second performance, made everyone sit and take notice of the fledgeling outfit. However, the party failed to impress in the Lok Sabha election, except Dushyant, all its candidates lost their deposits. The JJP suffered another setback recently when its month old electoral alliance with the BSP also came to an end.
Professor Raghuvendra Tanwar, a keen political observer of Professor Emeritus of Kurukshetra University, says that things are so one-sided in Haryana. “I don’t remember such a scenario in recent times. The level of commitment in the Congress workers is sorely missing. As far as Chautala is concerned, it’s a sad situation,” Tanwar said.
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