On the question of whom to support during Presidential poll, Haryana’s main opposition party Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) has left the decision on party supremo and former Chief Minister Om Prakash Chautala.
INLD leader Abhay Singh Chautala said though the Working committee of the party, which met here today under his chairmanship, felt NDA presidential candidate Ram Nath Kovind and opposition candidate Meira Kumar had excellent credentials, it has decided to leave the final decision to Om Prakash Chautala.
Party chief Om Prakash Chautala is currently serving a prison term in connection with a teachers’ recruitment scam.
“Chautala sahib will take a final decision in this regard and we will inform you about it when it is finalised,” he told reporters when asked INLD’s stand on the presidential polls.
At the meeting, Abhay noted that long after former deputy prime minister late Devi Lal had expressed his desire to see a Dalit in the Rashtrapati Bhavan, the two leading parties of the country were “constrained by vote bank politics to propose Dalits as their representatives”.
INLD is in opposition in the BJP-ruled Haryana. Over a decade ago it was an ally of the BJP and both shared power in the state.
Kovind is scheduled to meet NDA MPs and MLAs from Haryana and Punjab in Panchkula, Haryana, on Thursday.
External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and BJP’s general secretary Anil Jain will be among the leaders who will be with Kovind in the Haryana town.
Meanwhile, the INLD has threatened to block all types of vehicles coming from Punjab on national highway at Patiala-Ambala border, besides other points in the state on July 10 to protest against what it termed as the “failure” of the BJP governments in state and at Centre to get the Sutlej-Yamuna Link (SYL) canal constructed despite verdict of the Supreme Court in Haryana’s favour.
At the INLD meeting, Abhay reiterated his party’s demand to get Haryana’s share of river waters through the SYL.
He exhorted the party workers to stop all vehicles entering Haryana from Punjab near Ambala as well as Gulha Chika (district Kaithal) and Dabwali (Sirsa) from wee hours on July 10, if the government would not take any concrete step on the issue by then.
At the meeting, the party resolved to demand waiver of farmers debt, implementation of the recommendations of the Swaminathan Commission report and improvement in law and order in Haryana.