Former Haryana Chief Minister Om Prakash Chautala's elder son Ajay Chautala, whose son Dushyant Chautala was sworn in as the state's deputy chief minister in the BJP-led ML Khattar government, on Monday met his estranged younger brother Abhay Chautala. The amicable meeting between the two brothers has triggered among the Chautala clan's well-wishers and their parties' workers a hope that the festering family feud that resulted in the vertical split of the Indian National Lok Dal last year may soon be a thing of the past.
Ajay Chautala, who is serving a jail term along with his father OP Chautala in the teachers' recruitment scam, met his brother a day after he was released from Tihar Jail on a two-week furlough on Sunday, in time to attend the swearing-in ceremony of his son Dushyant as the state's deputy chief minister.
Ajay Chautala met his brother Abhay at the family's farmhouse in Teja Khera in Sirsa district along with his uncle Ranjit Singh Chautala, who was elected as an independent MLA in the October 21 Haryana assembly elections.
Party sources said the two brothers met warmly and talked animatedly for quite some time.
They said it was after a long time since the split that the two brothers met on a happier note on an occasion like Diwali. The two had met earlier a few months ago in a sombre mood after the death of their mother Sneh Lata.
The meeting came a day after Ajay Chautala's son Dushyanat led his Jannayak Janata Party (JJP) into an alliance with the BJP to form government in the state, ending a 14-year-long exile of Chautala clan from the power.
The JJP's parent outfit INLD was ousted from the power in Haryana in early 2005 and never regained it since then either on its own or in alliance.
After the October 21 assembly elections result, the JJP which got 10 seats extended support to the BJP, which fell short by six seats to achieve a simple majority in the 90-member House due to the fall of its tally from 47 in the previous House to 40 in the 2019 assembly elections.
With the JJP forming government in alliance with the BJP, many supporters of both the parent outfit INLD as well the splinter JJP were in a celebratory mood on Monday. They all had a common refrain: "It is like the end of the 14 years of exile."
The JJP was floated last year by Dushyant Chautala after a vertical split in the INLD, which had expelled him and his brother Digvijay Chautala at the behest of jailed party chief OP Chautala.
"I had said earlier also that we will force them to rethink. I had said we will create such circumstances that Chaudhary Om Prakash Chautala and INLD will be forced to rethink that they took a wrong decision, which affected not only the people of Haryana, but also the family," said Ajay Chautala.
"Even now I am saying, he (OP Chautala) should rethink, he is our elder, we respect him. I am always of the belief that division in the family never helps anyone, it only causes loss," said Ajay.
Ranjit Singh Chautala, who was present at the Teja Khera farmhouse, is the brother of Om Prakash Chautala, and has estranged relations with the Chautala family.
Recently, he had described Dushyant Chautala to be "like his child". Ranjit Chautala is among the seven independents MLA who have extended their support to the BJP-JJP government.
In the polls, the parent Indian National Lok Dal (INLD), was trumped by the breakaway party and only Abhay Singh Chautala was able to win, becoming the lone MLA of his party.
Before the assembly polls, some `khaps' and even former Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, a family friend of Chautalas, had made efforts for a reconciliation, but it did not work.