Amid defections, INLD looks for ‘crisis’ management

INLD state president Ashok Arora
INLD state president Ashok Arora

Stung by desertions following a vertical split and a heavy bypoll defeat, nothing seems to be going right for the Indian National Lok Dal in Haryana.

At a time the Lok Sabha election is around the corner, INLD on Monday admitted that the party was going through a crisis and would hold a meeting on Wednesday to get out of the rough patch.

INLD state president Ashok Arora said the meeting of the party’s political affairs committee had been convened in Rohtak to decide the future course of action.

“Yes, we are going through a crisis,” Arora said.

His comments come after Hathin MLA Kehar Singh switched over to the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party in New Delhi on Monday. Haryana BJP chief Subhash Barala and general secretary Anil Jain, the party’s incharge of the state, were also present at the occasion.

Arora, however, said during election time, “people come and go”.

The INLD leader added that they would write to the Assembly Speaker and seek disqualification of Kehar Singh.

Earlier this month, one of its seniormost leaders and sitting MLA, Ranbir Gangwa, had joined the BJP.

INLD secretary general Abhay Chautala had resigned as the leader of Opposition in the Assembly on Saturday and sought disqualification of four legislators for alleged anti-party activities.

Chautala had also sought the disqualification of Gangwa. Two former INLD legislators, Rajbir Singh and Buta Singh, had also joined the saffron party.

Four INLD MLAs have switched sides and announced their support to the fledgling Jannayak Janata Party (JJP), which was formed after the split in the INLD last year.

Hisar MP Dushyant Chautala — elder son of Abhay Chautala’s brother, Ajay Chautala — launched the JJP last year and the 30-year-old’s supporters are even projecting him as the next chief minister.

The INLD had suffered a heavy defeat in the Jind bypolls in January, with party candidate Umed Singh Redhu forfeiting his security deposit. Days later, its nine-month-old ally, Bahujan Samaj Party, parted ways.

The INLD, founded by late deputy prime minister Devi Lal and headed by former chief minister Om Prakash Chautala, has been out of power in Haryana for over 14 years now.
The 10 Lok Sabha seats of Haryana goes to polls in a single phase on May 12. PTI