Haryana: Already on slide, INLD hit by a fresh crippling blow after Om Prakash Chautala gets 4-year jail term

Om Prakash Chautala has been a seven-time legislator and chief minister five times

Rajesh MoudgilUpdated: Friday, May 27, 2022, 10:59 PM IST
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Haryana: Already on slide, INLD hit by a fresh crippling blow after Om Prakash Chautala gets 4-year jail term | File Image

Chandigarh: The four-year jail term to the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) supremo Om Prakash Chautala in the disproportionate assets case by a Delhi court on Friday, is being seen as a fresh severe blow to the party in the backdrop of its rapidly dipping electoral graph ever since he was jailed in the JBT job scam case in 2013.

Though, the INLD ruled Haryana twice – in 1999 in alliance with BJP and on its own from 2000 to 2005 – Chautala, a seven-time legislator, had also remained chief minister five times – thrice between 1989 and 1991 though as a Janata Dal legislator and twice as INLD chief from 1999 till 2005.

In 2009, INLD fell to 31 seats out of the total 90 and was the main opposition party in Haryana assembly. Om Prakash Chautala was, thus, the leader of Opposition in the Vidhan Sabha.

As anticipated, the INLD slipped to 19 seats in 2014 assembly polls as in the first crippling jolt to it, Chautala was been jailed in 2013. The BJP created history in the state by winning 47 seats and forming the government. In that election, the Congress was trounced and was left with only 15 seats. Since INLD was the second largest party with 19 MLAs, Chautala Sr’s younger son, Abhay Chautala became the leader of the opposition as Chautala Sr along with his elder son Ajay were in jail in the JBT teachers job scam case.

However, the INLD faced its second crippling blow in 2018, when Chautala expelled his grandsons, Dushyant and Digvijay for indulging in anti-party activities and later also threw out his elder son, Ajay Chautala, for trying to run a parallel party set-up. Though in jail then, the former five-time chief minister and seven-time MLA sided with his younger son, Abhay Chautala, who has since been running the party. Nonetheless, the Chautala clan’s political clout faced collateral damage as Ajay and his sons formed a new political outfit Jannayak Janta Party (JJP) and went to hustings in 2019.

The JJP won 10 seats and emerged as a kingmaker party as the BJP with 40 MLAs fell short of majority and entered into a post-poll alliance with JJP following which Dushyant, the grandson of Chautala Sr and Ajay Chautala’s son, bagged the coveted deputy CM’s post.

After the split, INLD slipped further and in the 2019 Assembly polls lost badly and won only one seat – Abhay Chautala – from the Ellanabad assembly constituency as most of its leaders had shifted loyalties to the JJP.

The release of Chautala Sr after his 10-year jail-term in JBT scam case was being seen as a major fillip to the party in 2021, but the fresh jail term now is being seen as a fresh blow to the INLD.

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