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Have come to fight your battle, INLD's Arjun tells Kurukshetra voters

Press Trust of India  |  Kurukshetra 

In dire straits after a vertical split last year and poor showing in Jind assembly bypoll, the INLD is pinning hopes on 26-year-old Arjun Chautala, who is contesting Lok Sabha polls from Kurukshetra seat, to reverse the party's fortunes.

The fourth-generation leader of the Devi Lal clan, who shares his name with a Pandava prince from mythological epic Mahabharata, dubs his opponents as "Kauravas" and says he has come to fight a "dharam yudh".

"I have come to serve you. Before contesting, I sought blessings of Chaudhary Om Prakash Chautala ji, I told him that he has entrusted a big responsibility on my shoulders. He told me that he has sent me to serve people and I promised him that I won't let him down," Arjun Chutala says at one of his election rallies in the past few days.

Drawing an analogy from the epic mythological Mahabharata, he tells people, "This Arjun has come to fight the Dharam Yudh, I have come to fight your battle".

"I stand here to uphold the ideology of Jannayak Devi Lal, who dedicated his entire life fighting for the cause of poor, farmers and down trodden," he says.

His father Abhay Chautala while campaigning for him tells people to make Arjun victorious in the Kurukshetra Lok Sabha seat to save him from "Kaurava-like opponents".

The war of Mahabharata was fought in mythical Kurukshetra.

This seat will see a contest between BJP's Nayab Saini, Congress's Nirmal Singh and Jaibhagwan Sharma of the Jannayak Janata Party (JJP), which was formed after the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) split last year following a feud within the Chautala family.

"We have fielded Arjun to fight your battle. If he is to be saved from Kaurava-like opponents then you will have to vote for him and make him victorious. With this the Kauravas will be eliminated," Abhay Chautala tells people at election meetings in Kalayat and Pundri, under the Kurukshetra seat.

Addressing a public meeting in Kurukshetra, Arjun Chautala says, "In Mahabharata, Arjun ,the third of the Pandava brothers, did not want to fight, but Lord Krishna convinced him to fight and win. Likewise, this Arjun was taking care of agricultural farms, but call of duty made him jump into the poll fray in this land of Mahabharta".

The INLD is contesting all the 10 seats in the state on its own. After the party split last year, INLD had a humiliating defeat in the Jind bypolls earlier this year. In the run up to the Lok Sabha polls, the party suffered desertions with three of its sitting MLAs switching over to BJP and Congress.

Arjun Chautala is the grandson of former chief minister O P Chautala, whose two other grandsons, Dushyant and Digvijay, are fighting as candidates of the JJP from Hisar and Sonipat seats, respectively.

The Kurukshetra Lok Sabha seat was won by Raj Kumar Saini of BJP in 2014 elections by a margin of over 1.29 lakh votes, defeating an INLD candidate.

Saini formed his own outfit last year, but did not enter the contest himself.

Congress's Naveen Jindal had won the seat in 2004 and 2009, but he did not enter the contest this time.

The Kurukshetra parliamentary constituency is spread across Kurukshetra and Kaithal districts and covers parts of Yamunanagar district. There are nine assembly segments - Radaur, Ladwa, Shahbad (SC), Thanesar, Pehowa, Guhla (SC), Kalayat, Pundri and Kaithal.

Three assembly segments of Ladwa, Radaur and Shahbad have a majority of voters from the Saini and Punjabi communities. Kalayat, Kaithal, Guhla and Raduar segments are dominated by Jats, which have nearly four lakh votes in a total voter strength of over 16 lakh.

Ruling BJP is facing criticism from the Jat community for not acting against Raj Kumar Saini for his allege anti-Jat rants.

The BJP is seeking votes on issues such as national security, need for re-electing a strong leader at the Centre, and for bringing transparency in job recruitments in the state.

"Every vote given to the BJP will boost our national security," Saini says.

Congress's Nirmal Singh, a former minister, focuses on targeting the BJP, claiming that the saffron outfit did not fulfill its poll promises and now they were "diverting from the real issues" while seeking votes.

The Kurukshetra seat will go to polls on May 12.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, May 09 2019. 19:06 IST