The Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) formally split into two on Sunday, with the group led by INLD president and former Haryana chief minister Om Prakash Chautala’s elder son Ajay Chautala launching a new outfit — Jannayak Janata Party.
After a feud in the Chautala clan over the party’s chief ministerial candidate for 2019 Assembly polls, Chautala’s elder son Ajay had last month announced to form a new party which will be led by his elder son and Lok Sabha member from Hisar, Dushyant Chautala.
Announcement of the new party was made at a rally at Jind, considered as the political heartland of the state. The flag of the new political outfit was unveiled at a well-attended rally here by Ajay Chautala’s wife and INLD legislator Naina Chautala along with senior leader KC Bangar, former chairman of the Haryana Public Service Commission.
Ajay’s two sons Dushyant aJannayak Janata Partynd Digvijay, who were among those present, will lead the new party. While Ajay and his two sons have been expelled from the INLD for their anti-party activities, Naina Chautala has not been expelled from the party yet as the 18-member INLD could lose the status of main Opposition party in the Haryana Assembly. The younger son of Chautala senior, Abhay Singh Chautala is the leader of Opposition and is leading the INLD.
The name of the new party begins with ‘Jannayak’, a reference to the INLD founder and former deputy prime minister Devi Lal, the father of party president, Om Prakash Chautala.
Setting the stage for split of the INLD Months ahead of the 2019 Assembly polls, Ajay Singh Chautala has last month announced the decision to form a new party on 9 December.
Abhay maintains 95 per cent party MLAs, MPs and officers bearers are still with the INLD. The infighting within the party began with the expulsion of party MP from Hisar constituency, Dushyant Chautala and his younger brother Digvijay Chautala — both sons of Ajay — by party chief Om Prakash Chautala, who accused the duo of indulging in anti-party activities and indiscipline. Ajay too was ousted from the party when he decided to stand by his sons who were shunted out after their supporters shouted slogans allegedly targeted Abhay Chautala at an INLD rally in Gohana in October.
Infuriated over the party’s decision, Ajay, his wife, who is also an MLA from Dabwali, and their sons began holding rallies across Haryana where they accused Ajay’s brother Abhay Chautala of hatching a conspiracy against them.
Ajay is undergoing a 10-year jail term with father Om Prakash Chautala since 2013 in a teachers’ recruitment scam.