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Haryana polls: BJP fields wrestler Babita Phogat

Poornima Joshi New Delhi | Updated on September 30, 2019 Published on September 30, 2019

Facing a splintered opposition, BJP names 78 candidates for the 90-member Assembly

A confident BJP, on Monday, came out with an exhaustive list of candidates for poll-bound Haryana, where besides re-nominating a majority of sitting MLAs, the party has fielded two Muslims from the Mewat area.

After a meeting of the BJP’s Central Election Committee (CEC) on Sunday, the party national secretary Arun Singh released the names of 78 candidates for 90-seat Haryana Assembly, for which polling is scheduled for October 21. The results will be announced on October 24.

The term of the present Assembly expires on November 2.

Led by Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar, who is contesting from Karnal, as many as 38 sitting MLAs will be seeking re-election from their respective constituencies. Haryana BJP president Subhash Barala has been fielded from Tohana.

‘Star value’

The star value to the BJP’s list is added by the candidature of wrestlers Yogeshwar Dutt and Babita Phogat whose story was made into a Bollywood blockbuster ‘Dangal’.

Phogat, who won a gold medal at the 2014 Commonwealth Games, will contest from the Dadri Assembly constituency, while Dutt is contesting from Baroda. The two Muslims in the BJP list from the Mewat region — Zakir Hussain has been fielded from Nuh and Naseem Ahmed from Ferozepur Jhirka.

The BJP has also picked a member of the Chautala clan, substantially hitting at the provincial party the Indian National Lok Dal’s (INLD) Jat stronghold. Former Prime Minister Choudhary Devi Lal’s grandson Aditya Devi Lal has been fielded from family pocket-borough of Dabwali.

Aditya’s father, the late Jagdish Chautala, was among the four sons of Devi Lal. he Dabwali constituency on the border of Punjab and Haryana is set to witness a family fight between the present INLD chief and former Chief Minister Om Prakash Chautala, the Jannayak Janata Party (JJP) headed by Om Prakash’s grandson Dushyant Chautala and Aditya Chautala.

“We are confident of the people’s support, given the manner in which the Haryana government has performed under the leadership of Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar and Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

“The BJP is confident of forming the government again in Haryana,” said BJP national secretary Arun Singh while releasing the list.

Published on September 30, 2019
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