Influential political families are known to command the loyalty of voters in particular regions of Haryana. Fielding members of such clans in the electoral battle was considered a safe bet. Therefore, be it the Congress, Indian National Lok Dal (INLD), Jannayak Janata Party ( JJP) or the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), all fielded members of top political clans as their candidates in the electoral battle.
Besides family members of the three famous Lals ~ Bansi Lal, Devi Lal and Bhajan Lal ~ members of other clans were also there in the contest. But as the Modi wave swept across Haryana and caste polarisation between Jats and non-Jats took place, most members of the state’s famous political families bite the dust in the electoral battle.
Barring BJP candidates Bijendra Singh, who is the son of Union minister Birender Singh and great grandson of peasant leader Sir Chhotu Ram, and Rao Inderjit Singh, who is son of former chief minister Rao Birender Singh, all other political dynasts were defeated despite their claim over the legacy of their families.
On top of this list are Congress’ Bhupinder Singh Hooda and his son Deepender Singh Hooda from Sonipat and Rohtak, respectively. Former Chief Minister Hooda senior is son of freedom fighter and constituent Assembly member Ranbir Singh Hooda.
As party candidate from Sonipat, he lost to BJP’s Ramesh Kaushik by a margin of 1,64,864 votes. In Rohtak Lok Sabha constituency, Hooda’s son Deepender, who was a three-time Member of Parliament (MP) from the constituency, lost to BJP’s Arvind Kumar Sharma by a margin of 7,503 votes.
In Hisar, sitting MP Dushyant Chautala, great grandson of former deputy Prime Minister and Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) founder Devi Lal, lost to BJP’s Brijendra Singh by a margin of 3,14,068 votes. Brijendra is a bureaucrat-turned politician and son of Union minister Birender Singh, who recently resigned as IAS officer to contest the poll.
Dushyant has launched Jannayak Janata Party (JJP) after a vertical split in INLD owing to a family feud and contested as alliance candidate of the JJP and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP).
Another key candidate, Congress’ Bhavya Bishnoi, grandson of former state Chief Minister Bhajan Lal, lost his deposit in his electoral debut in Hisar. He polled 184369 votes which was about 15.63 per cent of the total 11.79 lakh valid votes in the constituency.
Dushyant’s brother Digvijay Chautala, a JJP-AAP candidate, lost from Sonipat. He also lost his security deposit by polling about 51,000 votes. In Bhiwani-Mahendragarh Lok Sabha constituency, former chief minister Bansi Lal’s granddaughter and former MP, Shruti Chaudhary, lost by a margin of 4,44,463 votes.
In Ambala, former Union minister Kumar Selja, daughter of late Dalbir Singh who was a four-time MP, lost to BJP’s Rattan Lal Kataria by a margin of 3,42,345 votes. Devi Lal’s great-grandson and INLD leader Abhay Chautala’s younger son Arjun Chautala too lost his maiden poll contest from Kurukshetra. He polled 60,679 (4.93 per cent) votes and lost his security deposit after finishing fifth among 24 candidates.
In Gurugram, BJP candidate, Rao Inderjit Singh bucked this anti-dynasty trend and won by bagging over 60 per cent votes. He defeated his rival Congress candidate Ajay Singh by a margin of 3,86,256 votes. Commenting on the trend, Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar said dynast politics has ended in Haryana as Opposition parties were taking care of their personal interests rather than public interests.
“They have only one vision, to fill their pockets. People also rejected dynastic and regional politics and defeated it. In Haryana, it used to be said this area is a stronghold of a particular leader and that leader is strong from other area, but we rose above these factors and undertook all-round development with spirit of Haryana ek, Haryanvi ek and Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas,” he said.