DW BUREAU / Kaithal
The All India Congress Committee (AICC) communication in-charge, Randeep Singh Surjewala, is eyeing a hat-trick from his stronghold of Kaithal in the October 21 Haryana assembly election. A total of 18 candidates are in the fray from Kaithal, but it would be a direct contest between the Congress and BJP nominees.
The BJP has pitted former MLA Lila Ram Gujjar against Surjewala.
Lila Ram won as an INLD candidate in the 2000 election.
Madan (BSP), Anil Kumar (INLD), Ramphal Malik (JJP), Shyam Lal (LSP), Jasvir (Sarvhit Party) are the other notable candidates. Kaithal has 2.03 lakh voters — 1.08 lakh males and 95,000 females.
Kaithal has 208 polling booths, out of which 13 polling booths have been identified as vulnerable.
Surjewala, who is the chief spokesperson of the Congress, has a personal following as he nursed the constituency while being a cabinet minister in the Congress government from 2004 to 2014. BJP candidate Lila Ram Gujjar is highlighting achievements of the the BJP governments at the Centre and in the state. While Surjewala is banking on development of Kaithal during the Congress rule, Lila Ram is contesting the election on issues such as abrogation of Article 370 provisions of the Constitution which accorded special status to Jammu and Kashmir.
Other candidates are highlighting other local issues. The Congress has won seven times from Kaithal in 1967, 1968, 1972, 1991, 2005, 2009 and 2014. Om Prabha Jain won as the Congress candidate in 1967 and 1968. Charan Dass Shorewala won on Congress ticket in 1972. Raghunath won as Janata Party candidate in 1977.
Roshan Lal Tiwari won as Independent candidate in 1982. In 1987, Surinder Kumar Madan won as Lok Dal candidate and he won as Congress candidate in 1991. In 1996, Charan Dass Shorewala again won as Samata Party candidate. In 2000, Lila Ram Gujjar won as Indian National Lok Dal candidate. In 2005 elections, Randeep’s father Shamsher Singh Surjewala won as the Congress candidate. In 2009 and 2014, Randeep Singh Surjewala won as the Congress candidate.