Home India Politics Delimitation forces Haryana leaders to look for new seats

Delimitation forces Haryana leaders to look for new seats

By Jaideep Sarin, IANS,

Chandigarh : Leading a weakened opposition against the ruling Congress for next month’s assembly elections in Haryana is not the only trouble that former state chief minister Om Prakash Chautala faces. The Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) boss also has to ensure a safe seat for himself.

Chautala has announced his candidature from the Uchana Kalan constituency in Jind district but party sources say he would contest for another seat also.

The former chief minister has been forced out of his traditional seats — Rori and Narwana — due to the delimitation of assembly constituencies in the state. While Rori has been merged in a new constituency called Kalanwali, which is reserved for Scheduled Caste candidates, Narwana too has been reserved.

Chautala opted for Uchana Kalan, from where Haryana’s finance minister and chief ministerial aspirant Birender Singh will seek re-election, as that is one of the seven constituencies where the INLD led in the May Lok Sabha polls. The INLD led here by nearly 25,000 votes.

The clash between Jat community leaders Chautala and Birender Singh, who does not get along well with chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda, will make the contest for this seat interesting.

The INLD leader is not the only one forced to look for a new seat for the Oct 13 assembly poll.

Haryana’s suave power minister, Randeep Singh Surjewala, who incidentally defeated Chautala in Narwana in the February 2005 assembly poll, also has to hunt for a new seat now.

There is speculation that he may opt for the newly created Panchkula constituency, adjoining state capital Chandigarh.

Former Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) president Ranbir Singh Mahendra, son of former chief minister Bansi Lal, who was elected on the Congress ticket from Mundhal Khurd in Bhiwani district, is also seeking a new seat as his earlier constituency has been abolished.

Cooperation Minister Meena Mandal’s Jundla seat too stands abolished.

Sitting legislators from constituencies like Rajaund, Darba Kalan, Taoru, Nautha, Jatusana, Hassangarh, Kaliana, Pai, Chhachrauli, Naggal, Sahlawas, Bhattu Kalan and Ghirai will also have to look for new constituencies as the old ones have either been abolished, reserved or merged with others.

The Congress, whose government got the assembly dissolved seven months before its term was to end to seek early polls, seems to be sitting pretty with the opposition parties in disarray. The Congress led in 59 assembly segments of the 90-member assembly in the general elections this May.

Opposition alliances, with just a month to go for the elections, are breaking up or not happening at all.

While the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) broke its alliance with the INLD, the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) broke up with the Bhajan Lal-Kuldip Bishnoi-led Haryana Janhit Congress (HJC).

The HJC and BJP tried to forge an alliance this week but that did not materialise either.