Chandigarh: In a dramatic turn of events, ousted Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) leader Ajay Chautala announced that he was leaving the party and its symbol for his younger brother, while also announcing the formation of a new party with a new symbol.
Speaking at the Jind meeting of his supporters on Saturday, Ajay said, “Hum kanoon ke tehat nayee party banyenge (we will form a new party with our flag and symbol).
He also declared a war of sorts against his brother, invoking the Mahabharata. Duryodhana, he said, in a veiled reference to the brother, I spell out my final decision that now there will war, and not any pleas." "Now, Duryodhana, you will be destroyed," he said in Hindi.
Abhay Chautala, Ajay’s brother and the leader of Opposition in Assembly, kept everyone waiting and shifted his media interaction till after Ajay’s speech in Jind after a party meet in Chandigarh. He said Ajay had failed to prove his claim on the party and that is why he had left it all together.
Supporters got divided between the two meetings at Jind and Chandigarh. INLD state Chief Ashok Arora claimed that all MLAs were with the party. Abhay said only a couple of MLAs had gone to Jind meeting of Ajay and they, too, will be brought back into the party fold.
Abhay now has the party, party symbol, as well as the support of MLAs. Ajay has announced the next meeting for December 9. The move is being seen as an attempt to buy time to garner support of more MLAs to form the new outfit.
The simmering power struggle in the party also saw the expulsion of Ajay Chautala's sons Dushyant and Digvijay from the Haryana-based party. The two were shunted out weeks after their slogan-shouting supporters allegedly targeted Abhay Chautala at an INLD rally in Gohana.