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Weekly Pullouts » Haryana Tribune

Posted at: Oct 6, 2018, 12:03 AM; last updated: Oct 6, 2018, 12:03 AM (IST)JIND ASSEMBLY CONSTITUENCY

Caste to be dominant factor in Jind Assembly bypoll

Past trends show that the ruling party wins the seat but it may not be easy for BJP this time
Caste to be dominant factor in Jind Assembly bypoll
Dr Hari Chand Middha

Vishal Joshi

As the byelection to the Jind Assembly constituency is expected to be announced soon, political pundits say that social and caste combinations may play a decisive role in this central Haryana seat.

Experts say there is a trend in Haryana that the party in power wins the byelection in any constituency. But this time it may not be a cakewalk for the BJP.

The Jind Assembly seat fell vacant after two-time MLA Dr Hari Chand Middha died on September 25. Middha, an INLD legislator, was a Punjabi leader. He represented the Jind seat for two consecutive terms in 2009 and 2014. Being an old registered medical practitioner (RMP) of the region, he was a popular face in Jind and adjoining areas. 

Jind is part of the Sonepat parliamentary constituency, which is represented by BJP's Ramesh Kaushik.

Meanwhile, a political analyst says the INLD-BSP combine may give a tough electoral fight to the ruling party. The INLD had won the seat in the last two elections. 

He adds Jind is predominantly an urban constituency where caste combinations play an important role in the elections. The segment has a concentration of ‘Bania’ voters, followed by Jats and Brahmins. The constituency also has a number of voters belonging to Ahir, Scheduled Castes and Backward and Other Backward Castes communities. 

Experts say once the candidates of various parties are announced the picture of the electoral fight will become clear.

Since 1967, 12 state elections had been held in Haryana, and Jind was represented by ‘Bania’ leaders on eight occasions. The INLD won in the 2009 and 2014 Assembly elections whereas in its previous political avtaar as the Lok Dal led by late Devi Lal its candidates Brij Mohan Singla and Parma Nand, a Backward Caste leader, won the seat in 1982 and 1987, respectively.  

Late Mange Ram Gupta won the Jind seat four times. In post-Emergency elections, he won as an Independent candidate in 1977 and as a Congress candidate in the 1999, 2000 and 2005 Assembly elections.

The Congress has won the seat five times — Daya Krishan (1967 and 1968) and Mange Ram Gupta thrice.

“It is widely believed that Middha managed two consecutive victories due to en bloc voting by Jats, core supporters of the INLD in the constituency, and the Punjabi community. However, this time Punjabi-speaking voters may go with the BJP, as the community has a vicarious feeling of gaining power after Manohar Lal Khattar became the first ever Punjabi leader to become the Chief Minister of Haryana,” says an expert.

Another political watcher says Jind has an estimated 10,000 Scheduled Caste voters  and the BSP, which has an alliance with the INLD, may try to consolidate its base here.

While Punjabi-speaking voters seem to be firmly supporting the BJP, other communities such as Jats, Brahmins, Ahirs and OBCs feel neglected as their community leaders have not been given equal representation in the BJP government.

“Which caste combination may work better in the elections will become clear once the candidates of various parties are announced,” says another expert. 

However, the experts say the Congress is gaining ground after a humiliating defeat in the last Assembly elections. Rebel BJP MP from Kurukshetra Raj Kumar Saini’s Loktantra Suraksha Manch has also announced to contest the forthcoming Jind byelection.

“Saini is very ambitious and his candidate’s gain will a direct loss of the BJP. Similarly, the Congress will try to make its presence felt before the Assembly elections,” says an analyst.

  • The Jind Assembly seat fell vacant after two-time MLA Dr Hari Chand Middha died
  • An expert says it is widely believed that Middha managed two consecutive victories due to en bloc voting by Jats, core supporters of the INLD in the constituency, and the Punjabi community. However, this time Punjabi-speaking voters may go with the BJP, as the community has a vicarious feeling of gaining power after Manohar Lal Khattar became the first ever Punjabi leader to become the Chief Minister of Haryana.

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