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Adampur bye-election: Test for Bhajan Lal family

Polling will take place from 7 am to 6 pm for nearly 1.71 lakh eligible voters, and counting of votes will be taken up on November 6.

By Newsd
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Adampur bye-election: Test for Bhajan Lal family

The bypolls in Haryana’s Adampur assembly constituency on Thursday will decide if the Bhajan Lal family holds on to its bastion of five decades.

Polling will take place from 7 am to 6 pm for nearly 1.71 lakh eligible voters, and counting of votes will be taken up on November 6.

Twenty-two candidates, all men, are in the fray. The main parties contesting are the BJP, Congress, Indian National Lok Dal and the Aam Aadmi Party.

Former chief minister Bhajan Lal’s younger son Kuldeep Bishnoi has maintained that Adampur has been his family’s citadel, and that people have showered their love and blessings on it for decades and would do so once again.

”After a gap of 26 years, the Bhajan Lal family is fighting this poll while being in the government. And people know that development works will be further accelerated after the BJP candidate wins,” Bishnoi had said earlier.

The Adampur seat has been held by the Bhajan Lal family since 1968, with the the late ex-chief minister representing it on nine occasions, his wife Jasma Devi once and Kuldeep on four occasions.

Congress leader and former chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda, however, has termed Adampur a stronghold of his party. Late Bhajan Lal was a chief minister from the Congress, he had added.

The bypoll was necessitated after Kuldeep Bishnoi resigned as MLA from the seat and switched sides from the Congress to the BJP in August.

Bishnoi’s son Bhavya, who is contesting the bypoll as the BJP candidate, had also quit the Congress and joined the BJP.

Bhavya (29) had lost 2019 Lok Sabha polls from Hisar to BJP’s bureaucrat-turned-politician Brijendra Singh.

The Congress has fielded former Union minister Jai Prakash, a three-time MP from Hisar and two-time MLA as well.

The INLD picked Congress rebel Kurda Ram Nambardar as its candidate. The AAP has fielded Satender Singh, who switched over from the BJP.

Kuldeep Bishnoi defeated late Sonali Phogat, who had contested on a BJP ticket, in Adampur in the 2019 assembly elections.

A total of 180 polling booths have been set up – 36 of them are sensitive and 39 hypersensitive.

Tight security arrangements have been made by the district administration to conduct the polling in a free, fair and peaceful manner, officials said.

After losing in the Ellenabad and Baroda assembly seat bypolls, the seats which were earlier represented by the opposition INLD and the Congress respectively and retained by them, the BJP looks to reverse the trend in Adampur.

A win here will also increase the strength of BJP MLAs from 40 to 41 in the 90-member House. The saffron party enjoys the support of the JJP, which has 10 MLAs, besides six of the seven Independents and the Gopal Kanda-led Haryana Lokhit Party.

The Congress has 30 MLAs in the House, while the INLD has one legislator.

Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar, at a poll rally in Adampur on Tuesday, appealed to voters to make Bhavya victorious with a big margin.

Khattar also made a mention of the year 2005, when the Congress had won 67 seats in the 90-member assembly under Bhajan Lal’s leadership, but he was edged out of the chief ministerial race by Hooda. The chief minister urged the people of the constituency to seize the opportunity to ”settle scores” for the ”betrayal”.

The BJP and the JJP have targeted the Congress, dubbing it as a sinking ship.

Past political rivalry between the Bhajan Lal and the Devi Lal families notwithstanding, Haryana Deputy Chief Minister Dushyant Chautala campaigned in Adampur and sought votes for Bhavya.

Congress’ Bhupinder Singh Hooda targeted the Khattar government, saying it has failed on all fronts.

AAP leaders have targeted the BJP and the previous governments, accusing them of depriving citizens of good educational and healthcare facilities.

AAP national convener and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal launched the party’s nationwide ‘Make India No. 1’ campaign from Hisar last month.

Former chief minister and INLD president Om Prakash Chautala and senior party leader Abhay Singh Chautala campaigned for Nambardar in Adampur during which they targeted both the ruling BJP and the previous Congress regime on several issues.