New Delhi, Oct 8 : The mood in the BJP camp vis-a-vis Haryana polls is one of confidence. As saffron party candidates are campaigning door to door and village to village, the BJP leaders and poll managers feel they would make a dent in the citadels of two former Haryana chief ministers - Bhajan Lal and Bhupinder Singh Hooda.
Rohtak has been bastion of Mr Hooda since 1991 when he first won the parliamentary election against former Deputy Prime Minister and the famous 'Tau' Chaudhary Devi Lal. But the former Chief Minister seemed to have lost ground.
In the Lok Sabha polls earlier this year, Mr Hooda’s son and sitting Congress MP Deepender Singh Hooda lost to BJP's Arvind Sharma by 7503 votes. Junior Hooda, three time MP representing the seat from 2004; also trailed in the Rohtak assembly segment. The refrain in the BJP camp is the 'transition' was largely possible because of caste polarisation that has been caused due to 2016 pro-Jat quota violence.
Sadly for Hoodas, the former Chief Minister himself lost from Sonipat.In Rohtak assembly seat, the Congress has fielded Bharat Bhushan Batra while the BJP nominee is Manish Grover, a Punjabi. The Rohtak seat has a sizeable number of Punjabis and chiefly belonging to Khattar caste and they are all with the BJP. Huge properties belonging to Punjabis were particularly targeted during the quota agitation of 2016 and this will be made use of in the fierce contest expected in the constituency.
Incidentally, the Congress nominee Batra is also a Punjabi and thus it remains how things really span out. The Congress party is aware of the problems and how things can boomerang if 'caste polarisation' is ensured owing to 2016 violence. Thus, reports said Mr Hooda has been asked not to campaign much in the area and especially he has been asked to avoid sending his associates who were 'facing trial' for the violence.
Adjoining Rohtak, other assembly seats where too keen contests are expected are - Meham, Kalanaur, Bahadurgarh, Jhajjar, Badli and Kosli.In Bhajan Lal's bastion Adampur, BJP has fielded Sonali Phogat, more commonly famous as a Tik Tok sensation, and she will be taking on three-time MLA Kuldeep Bishnoi.
The Congress party candidate Bishnoi is son of legendary Bhajan Lal, a three-time Chief Minister of Haryana. Late Bhajan Lal first became the Chief Minister in 1979, then in 1982 and once again in 1991. Bhajan Lal represented Adampur assembly segments as many as nine times in his illustrious career and Kuldeep Bishnoi won the seat first in 1998.
Mr Bishnoi had contested the 2014 polls as Haryana Janhit Congress candidate and the state-based outfit later merged into the Congress in 2016.
"Adampur is like Amethi, all hype of a VIP constituency but lagging behind in development. Adampur has not seen development. Mr Bishnoi inherited the constituency as a legacy but did not work," says Sonali Phogat trying to make a mark among the voters. She also told television journalists that she worked in the fields and also used to drive her father's tractor.
In this Jat-dominated constituency, there are 13 other candidates but the the main contest is expected only between Congress and BJP.In her campaign line, Ms Phogat talks about Modi government's performance and hopes yet another BJP rule in the state will help resolve certain problems like scarcity of water in Adampur.
However, the BJP does not have much support base in the segment. In fact, in 2014, BJP nominee Karan Singh had finished fourth while Kuldeep Bishnoi had polled 47.1 per cent votes to win it. Kulveer Singh of INLD had finished second with over 32 per cent votes and Satinder Singh of Congress had finished third.(UNI)