Amid efforts by some Haryana 'khaps' for rapprochement in the Chautala family, Jannayak Janata Party (JJP) leader Dushyant Chautala on Thursday said his party will contest on all 90 seats in the upcoming assembly elections.
A family feud within the Chautala family last year had led to a split in the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD), with Ajay Singh Chautala and his son and former Hisar MP Dushyant Chautala founding the breakaway JJP.
"I have always said that as family we are one. But as far as charting out our political course is concerned, let me make it clear that we are going to contest on all the 90 assembly seats," Dushyant Singh, who is the grandson of Om Prakash Chautala, told reporters in Sirsa.
Khap leader Ramesh Dalal met representatives of other khaps in Palwal on Thursday in a bid to bring the Chautala family together. Khaps are groups of castes or communities.
The JJP leader said although Dalal has met him twice recently, he always came alone and has not met him with other 'khap' representatives.
He also said before working for unity in the Chautala family, the 'khaps' should work towards bringing the entire family of late Chaudhary Devi Lal together.
"And if they are making efforts, then why only the Chautala family, they should try to get the entire Devi Lal family together," Dushyant Singh said.
He said they never met the families of Ranjit Singh and late Jagdish Singh, the brothers of former chief minister Om Prakash Chautala and sons of former deputy prime minister and INLD founder Devi Lal.
Seen as a major challenger to the ruling BJP until a year ago, the INLD has been going through rough times.
With barely over a month left for the Haryana Assembly polls, most of its legislators have switched over to the BJP.
After the split, both the INLD and the JPP have failed to make their presence felt in Haryana, which is slated to elect a new assembly in October this year.
The Chautala family feud has continued to play out in the public despite the INLD's split.
Earlier this year, senior leader Abhay Chautala had accused his elder brother Ajay Chautala of selling party tickets in the 2014 elections, a charge vehemently denied by the latter.
Khap panchayats are caste or community groups, present largely in rural areas of north India, that at times act as quasi-judicial bodies and pronounce harsh punishments based on age-old customs.
Several cases of men and women falling victim to 'khap' diktats have been reported over the years, particularly in states like Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan.
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