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High-stakes Jind bypoll today — a four-corner contest

Necessitated after INLD MLA Hari Chand Middha’s death in August 2018, Jind bypoll will see his son Krishan Middha contest on BJP ticket, taking on Congress heavyweight Randeep Surjewala, INLD leader Umed Singh, and JJP’s Digvijay Chautala, great grandson of former Deputy PM Chaudhary Devi Lal

Ranjeet Jamwal | Chandigarh |

The Assembly bypoll for Jind constituency on Monday has assumed much significance as the result will not only give bragging rights to the winning political party but also play indicator of the public mood for the upcoming Lok Sabha and Assembly polls to he held later this year. Be it the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) or the Opposition parties — the Congress, the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) and the newly formed Jannayak Janta Party (JJP) — all have made it a prestige issue to win the high stake Jind bypoll in the heart of Haryana’s Jatland.

The seat fell vacant when sitting INLD legislator Hari Chand Middha, who won from Jind twice, passed away in August 2018. The BJP’s seriousness to win the Jind bypoll can be gauged from the fact that it managed to make Middha`s son Krishan Middha join the saffron party and has now fielded him as its candidate.

Right from Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar to his ministers, the BJP has put all its might to ensure Midha’s victory, which the party would use as people’s stamp on the performance of its first ever government in Haryana. The victory would therefore give the ruling BJP a big boost going into the Lok Sabha and Assembly polls which are due by October.

For the Congress, the Jind bypoll means an opportunity to assert itself as the main contender to form the next government in the state. And the Rahul Gandhi-led party has indicated its resolve to win the bypoll by fielding a strong candidate in the form of sitting Kaithal MLA and party’s national spokesman Randeep Surjewala.

If Surjewala manages to win, it would not only be seen as the beginning of Congress’ return to power and also make the Jat leader (Surjewala) a strong candidate to be the party’s chief ministerial candidate along with former CM Bhupinder Singh Hooda, who continues to face the heat of corruption cases related to his previous tenure.

The INLD and its breakaway group, the JJP led by Hisar MP Dushyant Chautala, are also vying to prove their popularity and claim over the legacy of INLD founder, Chaudhary Devi Lal.

While the INLD has fielded a local party leader, Umed Singh, as its candidate, the JJP has field heavyweight Digvijay Chautala, great grandson of former Deputy Prime Minister Chaudhary Devi Lal.

Digvijay is the younger son of INLD chief Om Prakash Chautala’s elder son Ajay Singh Chautala, who along with his two sons (Dushyant and Digvijay) were expelled from the party for their alleged anti-party activities late last year.

Therefore, both the INLD and the JJP are out to prove their supremacy in the Jind bypoll seen as “semi-final” ahead of the general elections.

Jind has more than 1.7 lakh voters, including over 1.07 lakh urban voters and nearly 62,500 living in villages.