By Jaideep Sarin
Chandigarh, April 25 (IANS) In Haryana, a state where the sex ratio was the worst till last year and where women are told to remain behind the ‘ghoonghat’ (veil), at least six mothers have got down to lead from the front for the political cause of their sons.
Four of these mothers – Kiran Choudhary, Renuka Bishnoi, Prem Lata and Naina Chautala, are sitting legislators in the Haryana assembly themselves and are not new to campaigning.
The other two – Asha Hooda and Kanta Chautala – come from the well-established political dynasties of Chaudhary Ranbir Singh-Bhupinder Singh Hooda and Devi Lal-Om Prakash Chautala respectively and being part of political campaigning.
While Kiran Choudhary, daughter-in-law of former Chief Minister Bansi Lal, is campaigning for daughter and former MP Shruti Choudhary in the Bhiwani-Mahendergarh Lok Sabha seat, Renuka Bishnoi (daughter-in-law of former Chief Minister Bhajan Lal and wife of Kuldeep Bishnoi), Prem Lata (wife of Union Minister Birender Singh) and Naina Chautala (daughter-in-law of former Chief Minister Om Prakash Chautala and wife of Ajay Singh Chautala) are campaigning for their sons – Bhavya Bishnoi, Bijendra Singh and Dushyant Chautala, respectively for the Hisar Lok Sabha seat.
Asha Hooda, wife of two-time Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda, is campaigning in the Rohtak Lok Sabha seat where her son and sitting MP Deepinder Hooda is contesting for the fourth time.
Kanta Chautala, also a daughter-in-law of Om Prakash Chautala and wife of Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) strongman Abhay Singh Chautala, who has remained out of political limelight till now, is also campaigning for her son Arjun Chautala as he has taken a political plunge for the first time from the Kurukshetra Lok Sabha seat.
While Kiran Choudhary, Asha Hooda and Renuka Bishnoi are from the Congress camp, Prem Lata is from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Naina Chautala is from the newly-formed Jannayak Janata Party (JJP) and Kanta Chautala is from the INLD.
Naina Chautala, the first woman from the Chautala clan to contest and win an election (Tosham assembly poll in October 2014) after her husband and father-in-law, Ajay Chautala and O.P. Chautala respectively, were convicted and imprisoned in January 2013 for the junior basic teacher recruitment scam, is not the one to take things lying down.
Her ‘Hari Chunari ki Chaupal’ campaign to mobilise women voters for the JJP floated by her sons, Dushyant and Digvijay Chautala, after severing political ties with the INLD, has been quite a hit in several parts of Haryana.
“All parties (in Haryana) are getting scared of the growing popularity of the JJP. There are conspiracies by parties and leaders to stop the political ascent of Dushyant,” she said.
Asha Hooda, who accompanied her son for filing of his nomination papers in Rohtak earlier this week, will have a hectic time in the next 15-16 days as she will have to divide her time in Rohtak as well as adjoining Sonipat Lok Sabha seat from where her husband is contesting.
“We have worked very hard for Rohtak. We will not only win Rohtak seat but also Sonipat by a big margin,” a confident-looking Asha Hooda said.
All the political moms campaigning this time have travelled to most parts of Haryana earlier and are well-acquainted with the problems and issues of the people.
Out of the over 1.79 crore voters in Haryana, over 81 lakh are women.