All set for the Kurukshetra

Updated on: Apr 02, 2014
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Will Naveen Jindal score a hat-trick?

Billionaire Congress MP and Jindal Steel and Power Chairman Naveen Jindal is hoping for a hat-trick from Kurukshetra.

Compared to the 2004 and 2009 elections, he faces a tough challenge from Opposition candidates Raj Kumar Saini of the BJP and Balbeer Saini of the Indian National Lok Dal. The AAP and the BSP will also eat into Congress votes.

“God willing, we will make a hat-trick,” says Jindal, who is also facing an anti-incumbency wave against the Congress in the State. The young voters in the constituency are worried over unemployment. The feeling is that despite being a big industrialist, Jindal has not really helped them.

Jindal, however, claims he has helped thousands of youth from Kurukshetra to get employment, not only in his group, but also in others.

To the complaint that he has not tried to set up any industries in his region, he says raw materials are not available in Kurukshetra. “The kind of industries that we are in is basically steel and power. There aren’t any raw materials available in my region,” he says. He adds that he is not an industrialist in his constituency. “I am here as an honest politician who is working for the upliftment of people. Over here it is mostly very fertile agricultural land. So it does not make sense to acquire thousands of acres of land to set up an industry here,” he tells Business Line .

The BJP, however, says Jindal had promised in 2004 that he would set up industries in Kurukshetra. “He has not provided jobs to a single person in this region. It seems that he has forgotten his promise that he will set up industries in this belt once elected as an MP,” says BJP leader Ravi Bhushan Garg.

Congress confident

The Congress, however, is confident Jindal will retain the seat. The thinking is both his opponents are Sainis and it will divide the Opposition’s votes.

Another issue that haunts Jindal is the coal allocation scam. “We are on a house-to-house campaign exposing Jindal’s role in the coal scam,” says INLD’s leader in Kaithal, Pradeep Sharma. “People are also aware of the activities of the NGO run by Jindal. What we need in Kurukshetra is an honest MP,” he adds.

Jindal defends himself saying he has done his best for the constituents as a responsive MP. “I have taken keen interest in the development work in my constituency,” Jindal says, adding the media distorted a ‘misleading’ CAG report on the coal allocations. “I would not wish to comment on this as the matter is sub judice ,” he says.

Published on April 02, 2014

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