Jind Bypoll: BJP, Congress & Chautalas Play Game of Castes

Jind Bypoll: BJP, Congress & Chautalas Play Game of Castes

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Just before the 2019 Lok Sabha election, Assembly bypoll will be held in Jind, Haryana on 28 January, Monday.

The bypoll will see a war between the two factions of the Chautala family. The Congress expects to make a comeback while the BJP is hopeful of their first win in Jind.

Also Read : Jind bypoll fires up Haryana politics

Jind Assembly seat has been vacant since the death of Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) MLA Harichand Midda who had been representing the constituency for the last 10 years. His son Krishna Midda has been given the ticket by the BJP.

There are about 1,70,000 people in Jind, of which 50,000 are Jats. This means that Jat votes are crucial for winning.

Who All Are Contesting?

The Jannayak Janata Party (JJP) was formed after a split in INLD's Chautala family. The party gave ticket to Digvijay Chautala. The Congress has chosen Randeep Surjewala, who is seen as close to Rahul Gandhi.

Also Read : Jind Bypoll: Can Randeep Surjewala Defeat Chautalas Once Again?

The INLD has backed Independent candidate Singh Redu.

'Voting in the Name of Caste’

Also Read : In Jind Rape-Double Murder Case, Boy’s Kin Allege Police Torture

Ashok Dewan, a resident of Jind, says “the main issue was supposed to be development but the agenda has now shifted to casteism”.

‘BJP Tries to Appeal to Non-Jat Voters’

Also Read : For 9-month tenure, Haryana parties sweat it out in Jind

Local resident Pawan Kumar Saini says, “Harichand Midda was the MLA of Jind for the last 10 years. His son is now contesting from the BJP. How do you expect development only on the basis of switching parties?”

Some locals also believe Midda’s decision to go to the BJP is correct as he can gain votes out of sympathy. Ashok Diwan says “there may be resentment among people but not so much that it can overpower empathy”.

Jind Bypoll Popular Because of Randeep Surjewala

Also Read : Campaigning ends for Jind bypoll

The Congress has given the ticket to Randeep Surjewala, who is an MLA from Haryana's Kaithal. Local resident Shakti Singh believes that if the Congress forms government in Haryana, Randeep Surjewala will become the chief minister of Haryana. But another resident Basant Kumar is not happy with the Congress’ decision.  He says, ‘You can't find a single instance in India's history where a sitting MLA has contested a bypoll. Why did Surjewala have to contest in the bypoll? What does the Congress want?”

(This story was originally published on Quint Hindi)

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