Jannayak Janata Party (JJP) chief Dushyant Chautala (File Photo)
The Dushyant Chautala led Jannayak Janata Party, which has decided to contest all 90 seats in Haryana, on Friday released the first list of party candidates for the upcoming state assembly polls. Among the seven candidates whose names were announced include a former minister and two ex-MLAs. The dates for the assembly polls are expected to be announced soon.
From Panipat Rural seat, Devender Kadiyan will enter the fray, Anoop Dhanak from Uklana (SC), Ram Kumar Gautam from Narnaund, Rao Ramesh Palri from Mahendergarh, Kamlesh Saini from Narnaul, Shyam Sundar from Bawal (SC) and Harsh Kumar has been named candidate from Hathin seat, as per the list released by JJP's state unit chief Nishan Singh. While Harsh Kumar is a former minister, Gautam and Dhanak are former MLAs.
Dhanak was among five MLAs of the Indian National Lok Dal, four of whom (including Dhanak) had switched sides by joining the JJP and one Congress. All the five MLAs were recently disqualified as members of the Haryana Assembly under the anti-defection law by Speaker Kanwar Pal.
Amid efforts by some Haryana 'khaps' or caste councils for rapprochement in the Chautala family, JJP leader and former Hisar MP Dushyant Chautala had Thursday said his party will contest on all the 90 seats in the state, which goes to polls in October.
A family feud within the Chautala family last year had led to a split in the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD), with Ajay Singh Chautala and his son and former Hisar MP Dushyant Chautala founding the breakaway JJP. "I have always said that as family we are one. But as far as charting out our political course is concerned, let me make it clear that we are going to contest on all 90 assembly seats," Dushyant, grandson of INLD president and former chief minister Om Prakash Chautala, had told reporters in Sirsa on Thursday.
Seen as a major challenger to the ruling BJP until a year ago, the INLD has been going through rough times. With barely over a month left for the Haryana Assembly polls, most of its legislators have switched over to the BJP. The Chautala family feud has continued to play out in the public despite the INLD's split.