June 25, 2024

Haryana/Himachal

Hooda counters BJP's Modi magic formula by gunning for Khattar

IANS | May 20, 2023 06:43 PM

Can the Congress capture power in the Haryana elections slated likely just months after the 2024 Lok Sabha elections with its two consecutive defeats?

In the October 2019 polls, the Congress secured 28.10 per cent of votes despite infighting, a spike from 2014's 20.58 per cent, when it had won 15 seats, down from its tally of 40 seats in 2009. It got 31 seats under the leadership of Bhupinder Hooda, a Jat leader who served as Chief Minister from March 2005 to October 2014.

With the BJP winning 40 seats, it secured 36.48 per cent of votes, up from 33.20 per cent in the 2014 Assembly polls when it secured 47 seats. But it lost a massive 20 percentage of vote share just months after the Lok Sabha polls in 2019 when it won all 10 seats.

Once the prominent regional outfit, the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD), was the biggest loser in 2019 Assembly polls with its vote share nosedived to 2.45 per cent from 24.11 per cent in 2014.

In its maiden poll fray, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) was decimated with a meager vote share of 0.48 per cent.

INLD's splinter group Jannayak Janta Party (JJP) led by Dushyant Chautala, currently the Deputy Chief Minister, and Independents secured 27.33 per cent of votes.

The JJP party won 10 seats in its maiden election while his jailed grandfather O.P. Chautala's INLD was reduced to one.

Against a target of 75 seats, the BJP led by Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh activist Manohar Lal Khattar emerged as the single largest party with 40 seats, six seats short to form the government in the 90-member assembly.

More embarrassing for the BJP, which came to power for the first time in the state in 2014 banking on the Narendra Modi wave, was that all cabinet ministers, except Chief Minister Khattar and veteran Anil Vij, were biting the dust.

The saffron party had won only four assembly seats in the 2009 Assembly polls. Its highest ever tally of seats was 16.

The legislators won by an average of 43.55 per cent of the total votes polled in 2019, compared to 39.84 per cent in 2014.

Political observers believe like the Congress that faced twin anti-incumbency in 2014 state polls it is the BJP that is facing similar dissatisfaction among the people over corruption, law and order and unemployment.

"The unprecedented success of the BJP in 2014 parliamentary elections marked a significant shift in the state's electoral politics, " an observer told IANS, adding "now state's anti-incumbency is banking heavily on the BJP and its impact will be seen clearly in the next elections -- both the Lok Sabha and later the Assembly".

After thwarting foes within, seasoned politician Hooda, 76, who believes they (G23) are reformists and not party rebels, is donning battle gear once again to lead the party to victory.

Eyeing to woo 65 per cent of population that lives in rural areas, on an average everyday Hooda is aggressively trying to reach out to the masses up to panchayat through the 'Hath Se Hath Jodo' campaign, which has been extended till July-end.

Not missing an opportunity, Hooda is building up a campaign by launching scathing attacks by saying more and more youth are falling in the trap of drugs and crime due to faulty policy of the BJP-JJP government.

Expressing concern over unemployment spreading far wide, he is also questioning the government over the use of force against protesting people over the ongoing Chief Minister's much hyped Jan Samvad (public connect) programmes.

Talking about the state politics, Hooda told IANS in a recent interview over eight years of helm of the BJP government were non-performing.

"Not even a single inch of metro or rail line or mega infrastructure project has been commissioned. Not even a single medical college or university was set up in all these years."

Contrary to him, Chief Minister Khattar, who seems to be banking largely on Prime Minister Narendra Modi's charisma, is saying the state is adapting several schemes emulated by the Centre for every section of society.

He is saying the people are availing benefits of state schemes like Parivar Pehchan Patra, CHIRAYU Haryana, Ayushman Bharat Yojana, Old-Age Pension, Mera Pani Meri Virasat and Meri Fasal Mera Byora.

He believes in the last eight-and-a-half-years the government has brought many radical changes in the system along with all-round development of the state.

"Parivar Pehchan Patra is an example of this through which we are implementing schemes focused on education, health, security and self-reliance, " he told IANS.

However, Khattar, who often says any decision on BJP's alliance for the 2024 Lok Sabha and Assembly elections will be taken at a suitable time, has been facing public wrath in his ongoing Jan Samvad programmes.

In Sirsa district it was disrupted on May 15 when a woman sarpanch confronted the Chief Minister, took off her dupatta (stole) and threw it on his feet.

Within a week, three such incidents involving the Chief Minister Manohar were reported.

The Chief Minister, a strong advocate for simultaneous parliamentary and assembly elections to cut costs as they are due within five months, believes the Jan Samvad is a platform where the people are talking about the difference of the Congress regime and the present rule.

Ahead of the parliamentary and Assembly elections, the BJP has stepped up its poll preparations in a bid to repeat its government in the state and win the maximum seats for the Lok Sabha.

On May 17, the BJP's State executive meeting was held in Yamunanagar, for deliberations on holding a aspecial contact campaign' to mark nine years of the BJP at the Centre.

However, the BJP's crucial ally JJP, which came into being after a split in the Chautala clan, is also on the field. Its leader Dushyant Chautala is making a whirlwind tour of constituencies in Panipat, Bhiwani and Hansi, the heart of Jats, comprising 28 per cent of the state's population.

Chautala keeps his cards close to his chest on future alliance with the BJP.

In a recent media interaction, he said: "I am not an astrologer. I cannot say what will happen in the future. As of today, we have an alliance with the BJP and it is working well."

Despite the narrative set for the BJP with its brand Modi once again in 2024, watchers feel the Congress in Haryana well lays the roadmap for the 2024 electoral battlesCan the Congress capture power in the Haryana elections slated likely just months after the 2024 Lok Sabha elections with its two consecutive defeats?

In the October 2019 polls, the Congress secured 28.10 per cent of votes despite infighting, a spike from 2014's 20.58 per cent, when it had won 15 seats, down from its tally of 40 seats in 2009. It got 31 seats under the leadership of Bhupinder Hooda, a Jat leader who served as Chief Minister from March 2005 to October 2014.

With the BJP winning 40 seats, it secured 36.48 per cent of votes, up from 33.20 per cent in the 2014 Assembly polls when it secured 47 seats. But it lost a massive 20 percentage of vote share just months after the Lok Sabha polls in 2019 when it won all 10 seats.

Once the prominent regional outfit, the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD), was the biggest loser in 2019 Assembly polls with its vote share nosedived to 2.45 per cent from 24.11 per cent in 2014.

In its maiden poll fray, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) was decimated with a meager vote share of 0.48 per cent.

INLD's splinter group Jannayak Janta Party (JJP) led by Dushyant Chautala, currently the Deputy Chief Minister, and Independents secured 27.33 per cent of votes.

The JJP party won 10 seats in its maiden election while his jailed grandfather O.P. Chautala's INLD was reduced to one.

Against a target of 75 seats, the BJP led by Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh activist Manohar Lal Khattar emerged as the single largest party with 40 seats, six seats short to form the government in the 90-member assembly.

More embarrassing for the BJP, which came to power for the first time in the state in 2014 banking on the Narendra Modi wave, was that all cabinet ministers, except Chief Minister Khattar and veteran Anil Vij, were biting the dust.

The saffron party had won only four assembly seats in the 2009 Assembly polls. Its highest ever tally of seats was 16.

The legislators won by an average of 43.55 per cent of the total votes polled in 2019, compared to 39.84 per cent in 2014.

Political observers believe like the Congress that faced twin anti-incumbency in 2014 state polls it is the BJP that is facing similar dissatisfaction among the people over corruption, law and order and unemployment.

"The unprecedented success of the BJP in 2014 parliamentary elections marked a significant shift in the state's electoral politics, " an observer told IANS, adding "now state's anti-incumbency is banking heavily on the BJP and its impact will be seen clearly in the next elections -- both the Lok Sabha and later the Assembly".

After thwarting foes within, seasoned politician Hooda, 76, who believes they (G23) are reformists and not party rebels, is donning battle gear once again to lead the party to victory.

Eyeing to woo 65 per cent of population that lives in rural areas, on an average everyday Hooda is aggressively trying to reach out to the masses up to panchayat through the 'Hath Se Hath Jodo' campaign, which has been extended till July-end.

Not missing an opportunity, Hooda is building up a campaign by launching scathing attacks by saying more and more youth are falling in the trap of drugs and crime due to faulty policy of the BJP-JJP government.

Expressing concern over unemployment spreading far wide, he is also questioning the government over the use of force against protesting people over the ongoing Chief Minister's much hyped Jan Samvad (public connect) programmes.

Talking about the state politics, Hooda told IANS in a recent interview over eight years of helm of the BJP government were non-performing.

"Not even a single inch of metro or rail line or mega infrastructure project has been commissioned. Not even a single medical college or university was set up in all these years."

Contrary to him, Chief Minister Khattar, who seems to be banking largely on Prime Minister Narendra Modi's charisma, is saying the state is adapting several schemes emulated by the Centre for every section of society.

He is saying the people are availing benefits of state schemes like Parivar Pehchan Patra, CHIRAYU Haryana, Ayushman Bharat Yojana, Old-Age Pension, Mera Pani Meri Virasat and Meri Fasal Mera Byora.

He believes in the last eight-and-a-half-years the government has brought many radical changes in the system along with all-round development of the state.

"Parivar Pehchan Patra is an example of this through which we are implementing schemes focused on education, health, security and self-reliance, " he told IANS.

However, Khattar, who often says any decision on BJP's alliance for the 2024 Lok Sabha and Assembly elections will be taken at a suitable time, has been facing public wrath in his ongoing Jan Samvad programmes.

In Sirsa district it was disrupted on May 15 when a woman sarpanch confronted the Chief Minister, took off her dupatta (stole) and threw it on his feet.

Within a week, three such incidents involving the Chief Minister Manohar were reported.

The Chief Minister, a strong advocate for simultaneous parliamentary and assembly elections to cut costs as they are due within five months, believes the Jan Samvad is a platform where the people are talking about the difference of the Congress regime and the present rule.

Ahead of the parliamentary and Assembly elections, the BJP has stepped up its poll preparations in a bid to repeat its government in the state and win the maximum seats for the Lok Sabha.

On May 17, the BJP's State executive meeting was held in Yamunanagar, for deliberations on holding a aspecial contact campaign' to mark nine years of the BJP at the Centre.

However, the BJP's crucial ally JJP, which came into being after a split in the Chautala clan, is also on the field. Its leader Dushyant Chautala is making a whirlwind tour of constituencies in Panipat, Bhiwani and Hansi, the heart of Jats, comprising 28 per cent of the state's population.

Chautala keeps his cards close to his chest on future alliance with the BJP.

In a recent media interaction, he said: "I am not an astrologer. I cannot say what will happen in the future. As of today, we have an alliance with the BJP and it is working well."

Despite the narrative set for the BJP with its brand Modi once again in 2024, watchers feel the Congress in Haryana well lays the roadmap for the 2024 electoral battles

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