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A Battle of Legacy: Where Both Will Be the Losers — Part I

The battle of legacy in Indian National Lok Dal Party, an offshoot planted and nurtured by Late Chaudhary Devi Lal, a kingmaker and former Deputy Prime Minister of India, who sacrificed his own crown claim on the Prime Ministership for another competitor VP Singh, is again on cross-roads after a long span of three decades. Nearly 30 years ago, there occurred a feudal dispute over the legacy of political assets of Ch. Devi Lal, even during his lifetime, between his two sons — Omprakash Chautala and Ranjeet Singh. But, the then strongest stalwart Devi Lal, favoured his eldest son Omprakash Chautala and rebuked Ranjeet Singh, which resulted in a revolt by the younger son. That revolt made Ranjeet Singh a zero from the hero and he had to content in the dark politics of downfall and the elder son Omprakash Chautala got the legacy garden; however, he had to face the thorns also with the glamorous smell of flowers of politics.

Now as the Indian National Lok Dal Supremo, Omprakash Chautala along with his elder son Ajay Singh Chautala is in jail in a case of JBT teachers recruitment scam; so the reins of his INLD party are in the hands of his younger son Abhay Singh Chautala, the leader of Opposition in Haryana Vidhan Sabha. But, Dushyant Chautala, an MP, and son of jailed leader Ajay Singh Chautala has also left no stone unturned for uplifting the downsized INLD party after the conviction of his grandfather Omprakash Chautala and father Ajay Singh Chautala. Now due to the distraction of the people from the BJP, internal leg pulling in the local Congress and lack of any third strong alternate in the state, the INLD-BSP alliance showed a thin bright ray of hope to the voters to line up with the alliance. And the public started to crowd in the rallies of INLD-BSP. But, how a goat can digest the five kilograms of cotton seed cake? The big crowd scenes turned the minds of INLD second liners that they have reached very near to the crown of the state and will surely win the race in the next assembly elections going to be held within a short span of one year. This fictive crown in mind created leg-pulling and downsizing competition between INLD Party Supremo’s son Abhay Singh Chautala and grandson Dushyant Chautala and encouraged them to have a grip on the party cadre in the state to prove their individual supremacy, throwing the party interest in the hell.

What ignited the word war?

In a rally, organised at Gohana to celebrate the birth anniversary of Party’s legendary leader and founder Late Chaudhary Devi Lal in October 2018, a group of enthusiastic youngsters raised slogans favouring and demanding to name Dushyant Chautala as the party’s CM candidate for the upcoming assembly elections in the presence of party’s present Supremo Omprakash Chautala, which not only showered the hot waters over the ambitions of Abhay Chautala to become the CM, but also boiled the party Supremo. Taking the decision with a steamed mind, the party’s National President, Omprakash Chautala suspended his two grandsons — Dushyant and Digvijay Singh from the cadre posts on the charge of indiscipline and got the show-cause notice served to them through a disciplinary committee of the party. Thus, the inner laid dynamite to eliminate each other’s competitors came to a burst in the public court, which resulted in the open word war to prove themselves as the real representatives for the party’s legacy.

The image of Abhay Singh Chautala had been advertently portrayed as that of an angry man from his initial stepping in the politics; whereas, Dushyant Chautala has been groomed to look like a sober mass leader like late Chaudhary Devi Lal. This sagacious, prudent, and sensible image of Dushyant made him more popular, mass favorite and much loved young leader in the party, which irritated Abhay Chautala to the extent of sidelining and defusing him on the party platforms by pressurising the party Supremo to expel his competitor from party cadres. This unexpected strict and quick action of party Supremo has indirectly conveyed the message to Dushyant Chautala to remain in his shoes and not to try to get out of these. But, sometimes results are contrary to the expectations and this happened here too. Dushyant came up with an injured lion strategy and started to hold rallies with more strength and aggressively clearly explaining his status and conspiracy woven against him on the public platforms. Show of strength is going on from both fronts through word bullets in media and public meetings.

Commenting on the ongoing scenario, Abhay Singh Chautala, in a public meeting of his supporters at Charkhi Dadri on October 29, said that a similar conspiracy was hatched by some people three decades before to break the party involving Ranjeet Singh, the younger son of Late Chaudhary Devi Lal, by projecting him the chief minister of the state and on the same pattern some elements are again trying to break INLD party now; but in the coming assembly elections, they will also meet the same fate like Ranjeet Singh and they will be marginalised to the zero base.

By Jag Mohan Thaken

(The latter part of the Article will continue on Sunday.)

(Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are the personal opinions of the author. The facts and opinions appearing in the article do not reflect the views of AFTERNOON VOICE and AFTERNOON VOICE does not assume any responsibility or liability for the same.)

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