New Delhi: A famous wrestler, a tik tok star and a Miranda House alumnus are among women candidates fielded by the BJP in the Haryana assembly elections. Among the 12 women candidates fielded by the party, five are sitting MLAs.
Prem Lata, wife of former Union Minister Birender Singh and mother of Hisar MP Brijendera Singh, is seeking re-election from Uchana Kalan assembly constituency.
Uchana Kalan in Jind district has been a bastion of Birender Singh, who has represented the seat five times. However, she faces a tough contest from Dushyant Chautala of Jannayak Janta Party (JJP). Prem Lata had defeated Chautala in the last assembly polls by over 7,000 votes.
Other prominent women leaders of the party seeking re-election are Nirmal Chaudhary from Ganaur, minister Kavita Jain from Sonipat, Latika Sharma from Kalka and Seema Trikha from Badkhal. The BJP has given several tickets to youth and first-timers.
The prominent new faces of BJP include wrestler Babita Phogat, a Commonwealth gold medallist, who joined the BJP in August. She is contesting from Dadri, a seat in Bhiwani-Mahendragarh Lok Sabha constituency which BJP has never won.
Babita became a household name after bollywood movie "Dangal", a film about the struggles of her father Mahavir Phogat who turned her daughters into wrestlers against social conventions.
From Adampur, a constituency represented by political heavyweight Kuldeep Bishnoi, the BJP has fielded a tik tok star Sonali Phogat. She has also worked in the party organization and some television serials also. The BJP has fielded Nauksham Chaudhary, a 28-year-old Miranda House alumnus, from Mewat's Punhana, also a constituency the party has never won.
She has studied in Italy and the UK and returned to India just about a month ago. Her father R S Chaudhary is a retired judge. In Uklana, a reserved constituency in Hisar district, the party has fielded a "Dalit Bahu", Asha Khedar who is married to a Jat businessman. Asha Khedar has said in interviews that she had never gone to her in-laws without "ghunghat" (cover over head and face). After filing her nomination she is campaigning like any other candidate. She has pursued masters in English and Sanskrit and is pursuing PhD.
From Kharkhoda assembly constituency of Sonipat district, the party has given ticket to Meena Narwal, chairman of Zila Parishad. Santosh Danoda and Kamlesh Dhanda have filed nominations from Narwana and Kalayat respectively. Kamlesh Dhandha is wife of former state minister Narsingh Dhanda.
The main contest in Haryana is between BJP, Congress, INLD and JJP. The BJP came to power in Haryana in 2014 for the first time. Assembly elections in Haryana will take place on October 21 and the results will be declared on October 24.
(By Brajendra Nath Singh)