Is Haryana heading for early assembly polls?

June 10th, 2009 - 11:36 am ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata Party By Jaideep Sarin
Chandigarh, June 10 (IANS) If the moves by Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda are an indicator, the state could go in for assembly elections much earlier than scheduled.

Buoyed by the success of the ruling Congress in Haryana in the recent Lok Sabha elections - in which the Congress won nine out of the 10 parliamentary seats, the Hooda government is gearing up to get assembly polls advanced, party sources said.

In normal course, the state assembly polls are scheduled for February next year - still a good eight months away.

But to cash in on the support given by the state’s electorate to the Congress party in the just concluded Lok Sabha polls, the Congress wants to take advantage and go in for elections earlier than scheduled.

If that happens, Haryana could go for assembly polls in September-October this year along with Maharashtra and other states.

“Yes, there is every possibility of early assembly elections in the state. The Congress had a good run in these (Lok Sabha) polls. It should cash in on this,” a senior Congress leader and former minister told IANS.

Hooda himself is telling party leaders and workers to gear up for elections.

“If the elections are preponed, the Congress party is all geared up for it. Our government has delivered on the development and governance fronts,” Hooda said here.

“The Congress party will win 90 per cent of the seats in the assembly elections and no other political party would be able to manage enough seats to have even the leader of opposition in the house (assembly),” said a visibly happy Hooda, who is addressing rallies of Congress workers and supporters these days.

The Congress repeated its performance of the 2004 general elections by winning nine out of the 10 Lok Sabha seats in the May 2009 general elections as well.

Hooda’s son, Deepinder Singh Hooda, won the Rohtak Lok Sabha seat by over 445,000 votes - the highest margin in the state. Seven winning Congress candidates in the Lok Sabha polls had victory margins of 55,000 votes and above.

The only seat that did not come in its kitty was the Hisar Lok Sabha seat which went to former chief minister and former Congressman Bhajan Lal.

But Bhajan Lal, 78, barely managed to scrape through in his stronghold of Hisar - winning by just less than 7,000 votes. Lal had led Congress to a thumping win in the February 2005 assembly polls but the Congress high command selected Hooda, who had not even contested that assembly election, to be the state’s chief minister.

The Congress tried to placate Bhajan Lal by making his son Chander Mohan the deputy chief minister but the former chief minister was sidelined in the party and finally formed his own state party, Haryana Janhit Congress (HJC), in December 2007.

Out of the 90 assembly segments, the Congress easily led on 59 in the recent Lok Sabha elections. In the present assembly, the Congress has 64 legislators.

The main opposition Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) led by former Chief Minister Om Prakash Chautala, which has only nine seats in the present assembly, led in only seven assembly segments in the recent Lok Sabha polls.

The INLD’s alliance partner, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which has one sitting legislator, led in seven assembly segments this time.

The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), which does not have substantial presence in Haryana and has only one sitting legislator, led in eight assembly segments.

Bhajan Lal’s HJC, which was supposed to eat into the Congress votebank, led in only nine assembly segments.

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