The Sangh background of many Haryana independents, gives BJP the upper hand

A. M. Jigeesh New Delhi | Updated on October 25, 2019

The BJP may not find it difficult to get the support of the seven independents who have won in the Haryana Assembly elections, as most of them once belonged to its camp. Though the MLAs criticised the BJP leadership throughout the campaign, some of the independent MLAs have a strong BJP-RSS background, which has made the task of negotiations easier for the BJP.

1. Rakesh Daulatabad: One of the richest candidates in Haryana, Daulatabad defeated the BJP candidate from Badhshahpur. The Gurugram-based entrepreneur-turned-social activist, Daulatabad defeated sitting MLA Naresh Kaushik of the BJP by more than 10,000 votes. “In the year 2009 he took the decision to enter the political arena, with the aim to serve more and more people and address their concerns through affirmative action,” says a brief bio in his website. According to an affidavit submitted by him, he has assets worth about ₹45 crore.

2. Sombir: BJP rebel candidate, Sombir, pushed the BJP’s official candidate and wrestler, Babita Phogat, to third position in Dadri constituency. He defeated the JJP’s Satpal Sangwan by a margin of more than 14,000 votes. Sombir was the party’s candidate from the seat in 2014, but was defeated by the INLD. Though he has continued to work in the area, the party decided not to consider him this time. Apparently, the local BJP voters trusted over Phogat, a new entrant in the party.

3. Balraj Kundu: Another BJP rebel, Kundu, defeated veteran Congress leader and MLA Anand Singh in Meham. BJP candidate Shemsher Singh Kharkhara finished third in the battle. During the campaign, Kundu had urged voters to elect those who had served them as MLAs, not those who ruled them once they got power. Kundu was chairman of the Rohat District Parishad representing the BJP, and he resigned from the post hoping to get a ticket. But the BJP chose Kharkhara, who has lost two elections in the past against the Congress. Kundu runs a transport service and is known as a person interested in social service.

4. Dharam Pal Gonder: Gonder, a grass roots-level worker who had the support of the local party workers, rebelled after the leadership favoured the sitting MLA Bhagwan Das Kabir Panthi in Nilokheri. Gonder defeated the BJP candidate by a margin of 2,222 votes.

5. Nayan Pal Rawat: After being denied a ticket by the BJP, Rawat, a local leader of the party in Prithla, decided to contest as an independent. “People will take revenge for my tears,” Rawat had said, challenging the BJP during the campaign. He, too, pushed the official BJP candidate, Sohan Pal, to third position. Rawat defeated the Congress’s Raghubit Tewatiya by a margin of more than 16,000 votes.

6. Randhir Singh Gollen: The new MLA of Pundri, Gollen, didn’t take much time to offer support to the BJP, of which he was a leader till the announcement of candidates. When the party decided to field Vedpal Advocate as its candidate in the seat, Gollen resigned and went to the people to seek justice for the injustice done to him. The people and the local BJP leaders stood with him and Gollan defeated the Congress’s Satbir Bhana by a margin of more than 12,800 votes. The official candidate finished third.

7. Ranjit Singh: A former Minister in the Devi Lal Cabinet, Ranjit Singh is a veteran politician, who has been fielded by both the Lok Dal and the Congress in Rania seat. This time, he did not get the Congress ticket and decided to fight as an independent. Singh has pledged support to the BJP and said he admired the policies of Narendra Modi. He won the seat by a margin of 19,341 votes.

Published on October 25, 2019

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