Harayana Assembly Election: Top Jat families in a battle of supremacy

Chandigarh: The Uchana Kalan Assembly seat in the Jind district is set for a gripping fight of supremacy between Haryana's two big political Jat families.

Sitting legislator Prem Lata, 59, wife of former Union Minister Birender Singh who is grandson of Haryana's Jat icon Sir Chotu Ram, is taking on former member of Parliament Dushyant Chautala, 31, great grandson of former Deputy Prime Minister Devi Lal. Both are multi-millionaires and well educated, as per their poll affidavits.

In the 2014 Assembly polls, the housewife-turned-politician Prem Lata defeated Dushyant by 7,480 votes. Uchana Kalan, a part of the Hisar Lok Sabha seat, has been a traditional bastion of her husband who represented the seat five times since 1977.

In the last Lok Sabha elections, Dushyant lost the Hisar seat to Prem Lata's bureaucrat-turned-politician son Bijendra Singh. Just ahead of the Lok Sabha polls, Bijendra Singh quit the Indian Administrative Service (IAS).

His father Birender Singh had joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in 2014 after leading a revolt against then Congress Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda.

Dushyant, who won the 2014 elections as the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) candidate, is now representing the newly formed Jannayak Janata Party (JJP), which is contesting all 90 seats in the state.

Dushyant parted ways with the INLD in December 2018 after a bitter split in the party and the Chautala family. Dushyant's father, Ajay Singh Chautala, is the elder son of INLD president and former Chief Minister Om Prakash Chautala, who defeated Birender Singh by 621 votes in 2009 Assembly polls.

Being a ruling party's legislator, Prem Lata has too many credits to claim her second innings. Her achievements include setting up a grain market, a 50-bed hospital, an air-conditioned multipurpose hall, gymnasium in every village and a Kendriya Vidyalaya.

Uchana Kalan's grain market is known for trading wheat, cotton and paddy. "It's again a straight fight between Prem Lata and Dushyant. Both Jat leaders have been quite active in the constituency," local resident Naresh Aggarwal said.

The Congress has fielded greenhorn Balram Katwal. As per the caste mathematics, Jats are the dominant group and account for one-third of total votes in the constituency that boasts literacy rate of 72 per cent.

Assembly elections in Haryana will take place on October 21. The last day for filing nomination is October 4. The counting of ballots will be held on October 24.

By Vishal Gulati

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