Punjab: INLD patriarch Om Prakash Chautala’s release lifts party’s morale | Chandigarh News – Times of India

CHANDIGARH: Although Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) patriarch Om Prakash Chautala would remain disqualified from contesting elections even after the end of his jail term in the JBT recruitment scam, the party leaders and workers are hopeful that his release would add a new life in the outfit.
Social media platforms were flooded with messages on Wednesday, celebrating Chautala’s release from jail and projecting a new hope of party’s revival. Chautala senior would not be able to contest the election for the next six years after his release by virtue of Section 8 (1) of the Representation of Peoples Act.
INLD would now bank upon Chautala, who is not only a good orator and a charismatic political figure of the state but also has the ability of turning around the situation in any crisis. Although he remained a crowd puller for the party in several political campaigns during his parole period, according to the party leaders his permanent presence among workers may recuperate the party, which had maximum presence in the rural belt of the state.
Senior party leaders said that although his son Abhay Singh has been very active in raising the issues related to farmers and had even resigned from the state assembly in protest against the contentious agriculture laws, Chautala senior’s presence may be a big booster. They also confirmed that some senior leaders, who had quit the INLD, may rejoin.
“I would say, it is not only a morale booster for INLD but also a threat to those who defected from the party for selfish motives at a crucial period and to the Congress leaders who conspired to send him behind bars,” claimed INLD general secretary R S Chaudhary. A retired bureaucrat, Chaudhary has served with Chautala for a long time. He claimed that Chautala is perhaps now the only leader in Haryana politics who knows the pulse of the people and has travelled to almost every nook and corner of the state.
INLD state president Nafe Singh Rathee claimed that Chautala is a big hope not only for the party cadre but also for leaders in the country as he is the only person in national politics who can help form a third front.
Once Haryana’s main opposition party, INLD has been struggling for political survival. Prior to the 2014 assembly polls, it was the most powerful and largest regional political outfit of Haryana and was expected to form government. However, it suffered a setback in January 2013, when Chautala and other senior party leaders was jailed in the JBT recruitment scam. The party suffered another major blow when it split and Jannayak Janata Party (JJP) was formed out of it by Chautala’s elder son Abhay and grandson Dushyant, who had strong differences with Abhay.
The last time INLD ruled in the state was from 2000-2004, when Chautala was the chief minister. It had won 47 of 90 seats in the state assembly. In 2009 and 2014, it was the recognized opposition party in the state. In 2014 parliamentary polls, the party had even won two Lok Sabha seats from Hisar and Sirsa. However, in 2018 assembly polls, it could win only one seat of Ellenabad in Sirsa district.
The octogenarian leader has served as Haryana CM four times — December 2,1989 to May 22,1990; July12,1990 to July 17, 1990; March 22, 1991 to April 6, 1991; and July 24, 1999 to March 4, 2005.

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