Battle for Devi Lals legacy in Haryana

DW BUREAU / New Delhi

In the battle for Devi Lal’s legacy, the young Dushyant Chautala seems to have trumped his uncle in Haryana. The Dushyant Chautala-led JJP has managed to replace INLD, which is headed by his uncle Abhay Chautala, as the third force in the Haryana assembly elections with his party putting up a decent fight in many seats, reducing the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) to the fringes of state politics which it once dominated.

In almost every seat where INLD, which was founded by former deputy prime minister Devi Lal, enjoyed influence, JJP has emerged as the inheritor of his legacy and has core support among voters.

Following a rift within the Chautala family, INLD suffered a vertical split with former Hisar MP Dushyant Chautala floating his own party ? Jananayak Janata Party (JJP).

The name, incidentally draws from the popular image of Devi Lal, great grandfather of Dushyant, as Jananayak. Presenting him as Devi Lal’s true inheritor, Dushyant in his speeches talks about him and his model of politics but refrains from mentioning about his grandfather Om Prakash Chautala, who backed his uncle Abhay in battle of legacies. But at the same time doesn’t attack them also in his rallies.

In his bid to take the legacy forward, Dushyant is contesting from Uchana Kalan in Jind district, where he is in direct fight with BJP’s sitting MLA Prem Lata, wife of former Union Minister and Rajya Sabha member Birender Singh.

It was his grandfather Om Prakash Chautala who had defeated Singh from the same seat in 2009 elections. In the recently held Lok Sabha elections, in which the BJP won all the 10 seats in the state, both JJP and INLD could not put up an impressive show. But it was the offshoot which relatively did better than its parent party. As per political observers in the state, JJP has emerged as the new version of INLD, with the party’s cadres and youth backing it. There have been instances in Indian politics of difference of opinions between uncles and nephews. The nephews tried to come out of their uncles’ shadow but failed to make a mark. This happened in case of Raj Thackeray when he came out of Shiv Sena and formed Maharashtra Navnirman Sena and in case of Manpreet Badal who formed the People Party of Punjab (PPP) after moving out of SAD.

(editor@dailyworld.in)

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