Jind by-poll Highlights: 75.77% voter turnout recorded
Jind, Jan 28: A high voter turnout was recorded in Haryana's Jind where the Congress and the BJP are locked in a battle of prestige. In the Jind assembly by-election, the turnout was recorded at 75.77 per cent.
The election was multi-cornered in Jind in Haryana, ahead of parliamentary and assembly elections are due in later this year. All four major contenders in Jind -- the ruling BJP, Congress, the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) and the Jannayak Janata Party (JJP), which was formed after a split in the INLD -- have pulled out all the stops for a victory, which could prove to be a morale booster for the rank and file.
The Jind bypoll was necessitated following the death of INLD MLA Hari Chan Middha, whose son Krishna Middha recently joined the BJP and is the saffron party's candidate for the by-election. The Congress fielded its chief national spokesperson and sitting MLA from Kaithal constituency Randeep Singh Surjewala. The INLD is banking on Umed Redhu to retain the seat. The JJP has put its weight behind Digvijay Chautala, the younger son of jailed leader Ajay Singh Chautala, who broke away from the INLD and floated the party.
Here are the Highlights:
Jind, Haryana: Randeep Surjewala offers prayers at Somnath temple. He is the Congress candidate for the by-election to the legislative assembly constituency of Jind. Voting is underway for the by-election. #JindByelection pic.twitter.com/r1MeAPaBpt— ANI (@ANI) January 28, 2019
The bypoll has brought together the Congress rank as party's top leaders, including former chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda, state party chief Ashok Tanwar, late CM Bhajan Lal's son Kuldeep Bishnoi, CLP leader Kiran Choudhary and party MP Kumari Selja have taken to the streets to ensure Surjewala's victory.
Surjewala's campaign had got a shot in the arm after a heavyweight from the area and Independent MLA from Kalayat Jai Prakash and former minister Mange Ram Gupta lending support to him.
Prakash, a Jat leader, had been seeking the Congress ticket for his son Vikas Saharan.
Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar, cabinet ministers Rambilas Sharma, Capt Abhimanyu and Manish Grover have been campaigning for Middha.
Political pundits say the dormant Jat community votes are likely to be divided among Surjewala, Redhu and Digvijay as all of them are Jats which can tilt the balance in favour of the BJP candidate.
The fledgeling JJP got a boost with the AAP announcing support for its nominee.
The cancellation of furlough of INLD supremo Om Prakash Chautala from Tihar Jail on the directive of the Delhi government led to a verbal duel between warring factions.
Chautala hit back at his grandsons Dushyant and Digvijay, accusing them of "back-stabbing" him and "conspiring" with AAP to keep him out of the campaigning, a charge denied by the Hisar MP.
Playing an emotional card, Chautala in an open letter to the electorate said that he was unwell and in hospital.
"Despite being unwell, I wanted to come to you (seek votes). I gave an application of furlough to jail authorities which was approved from January 17 with riders that I will have to stay at Teja Khera farm house at Sirsa and should not participate in any political activities."
"It is an injustice. However, all limits were crossed when the furlough from January 21 was cancelled. This has happened due to a conspiracy by Dushyant, Digvijay and Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal. I have been back-stabbed. I appeal to the electorate to vote for INLD candidate Umedh Singh to avenge the conspiracy hatched against me," Chautala has written in the letter.
Sneh Lata, wife of Chautala senior is being heard in a video saying, "If I die tomorrow, these four persons (Ajay, his wife Naina and their sons Dushyant and Digvijay should not touch my body)."
Hitting back, Naina asks, "Have you ever heard someone cursing her sons and grandsons".
The electioneering has brought about sharp differences in the Chautala clan.
While the BJP brokered peace with Kandela Khap (caste council) chief Tek Ram, a ticket aspirant, Leader of Opposition Abhay Singh Chautala apologised to villagers for the infamous firing incident in 2002 during the Chautala regime which led to the death of farmers.
Middha is relying on "all-round development" done during Khattar's over four years regime.
INLD's Umedh and Congress' Surjewala are banking upon anti-incumbency of ruling BJP alleging the saffron party "failed" to honour its poll promises.
The candidate of Lok Suraksha Manch Vinod Kumar Arshi could also play spoilsport in a multi-cornered contest.
Arshi, a Brahmin leader from Jind is a nominee put up by BJP's rebel MP from
Kurukshetra, Raj Kumar Saini who is Manch's patron.
Saini has an influence among voters from OBC communities.