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Haryana’s First ‘Gentleman Chautala’ Faces Tough Choice Between 'Anti-Jat' BJP and Grandfather’s Jailer Hooda

With 29 per cent strength, Jat voters are the deciding factor in Haryana. This time, they have decided to make Dushyant Chautala as the king-maker and have ruled out INLD’s political presence in the state.

News18.com

Updated:October 24, 2019, 7:23 PM IST
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Haryana’s First ‘Gentleman Chautala’ Faces Tough Choice Between 'Anti-Jat' BJP and Grandfather’s Jailer Hooda
News18 Creative by Mir Suhail

New Delhi: In 2017, three years after defying all odds and becoming the youngest parliamentarian in India, Dushyant Chautala took a tractor to the Parliament. In December 2018, his nascent Jannayak Janta Party (JJP) got its ballot box symbol — a key.

Now, he holds the key to power in Haryana.

Born in Hisar in 1988 to Ajay Chautala and Naina Singh Chautala, Dushyant is the grandson of Om Prakash Chautala and the great grandson of former deputy prime minister Chaudhary Devi Lal. With these elections, his party leaders pointed out, the question of where Devi Lal’s legacy lay was finally answered.

Dushyant studied at St. Mary School, Hisar and The Lawrence School, Sanawar, Himachal Pradesh, and then went on to study at the California State University and did a Masters of Law from National Law University. A JJP leader pointed out, “He is the new face of the Jat leadership in Haryana and India. He speaks fluent English and is equally comfortable with the rural and urban side of Haryana.”

The results reflect this. While the BJP has a lead in 39 seats in the 90-seat house, the Congress isn’t far behind with 30 seats. The JJP leading at 12 seats, effectively subsuming INLD’s legacy, is now ‘key’. Both the BJP and Congress have sent out feelers to the 30-year-old.

With 29 per cent strength, Jat voters are the deciding factor in Haryana. This time, they have decided to make Dushyant Chautala as the king-maker and have ruled out INLD’s political presence in the state.

In the battle for Devi Lal's legacy, the young Dushyant Chautala seems to have trumped his uncle. In almost every seat where INLD, which was founded by former deputy prime minister Devi Lal, enjoyed influence, JJP has emerged as the inheritor of his legacy and has core support among voters.

Following a rift within the Chautala family, INLD had suffered a vertical split with former Hisar MP Dushyant Chautala floating his own party - Jananayak Janata Party (JJP). The name, incidentally draws from the popular image of Devi Lal, great grandfather of Dushyant, as Jananayak.

In his bid to take the legacy forward, Dushyant was contesting from Uchana Kalan in Jind district, where he is in direct fight with BJP's sitting MLA Prem Lata, wife of former Union Minister and Rajya Sabha member Birender Singh.

It was his grandfather Om Prakash Chautala who had defeated Singh from the same seat in 2009 elections.

Dushyant, who campaigned along with his great-grandfather Devi Lal who was in the fray in 1996 from the Rohtak Lok Sabha seat, in his addresses to supporters during these polls not only played an emotional chord, but also not minced words in taking a dig at his estranged family for severing family ties.

His campaign has been focused largely on the youth with a promise of more job opportunities, says a political observer. Dushyant's JJP had shown its strengths in the Jind bypoll in January in which it finished second and Congress national spokesperson Randeep Surjewala finished third.

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