INLD says seat sharing not an issue

Last Updated: Monday, August 24, 2009 - 21:58

Chandigarh: Dumped by its ally, the
Indian National Lok Dal, which has witnessed its worst
electoral debacles in recent times, on Monday said it was
unilateral action by BJP and seat sharing was not an issue.

"There has been no problem from our side.... Seat
sharing is not an issue," INLD`s Secretary General and Rajya
Sabha MP Ajay Chautala said, adding BJP had taken a unilateral
decision of snapping ties with it.

BJP chief Rajnath Singh today said the situation "must
have arisen over seat sharing" after the party broke its
alliance ahead of the Haryana assembly elections.

Already reeling under a series of desertions by senior
leaders after the rout in Lok Sabha elections, the INLD,
however, put up a brave front saying it was ready to fight the
elections on its own.

"The party is fully prepared to record its win," INLD
Haryana unit President Ashok Arora said here. A meeting of the
Paty`s Political Affairs Committee (PAC) will be held here on
August 27 to decide the future course of action.

The party, which failed to open its account in the
last two Lok Sabha elections, received the bolt from the blue
even as it was running advertisements urging the people to
vote out the Congress to bring back the times of `Tau`,
referring to party`s founder and Chautala`s father former
Deputy Prime Minister Devi Lal.

The decline for the party started right after the 2004
Lok Sabha polls, when it had broken ties with BJP. While BJP
managed to win the Sonepat Lok Sabha seat, INLD was wiped out.

The party witnessed its worst electoral debacle in
February 2005 Assembly elections when it lost power to
Congress and its strength was reduced to nine in the 90-member
House.

Even Chautala, who had fought from two seats, lost one
but managed to win from Rori segment.

While Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda gradually
rising in stature as a Jat leader, Chautala appears to be
losing grip on the community which was the party`s major vote
base.

The 2009 Lok Sabha polls resulted in yet another
setback to the party, which had less than a year back again
patched up with the BJP. The alliance failed to stop Congress
juggernaut as it retained nine of its ten seats.

When INLD was not part of NDA, it also projected
itself as a key party of the United National Progressive
Alliance (UNPA), but could not derive any mileage as the
Dront, which had been formed as an alternative to Congress and
the BJP, failed miserably.

Recently, its veteran leader and former minister
Sampat Singh deserted the party to join the Congress.

Sampat, who snapped ties with INLD after being part
of it for 32 years, accused the party of drifting from the
ideology of Devi Lal.

Several other senior leaders including former MPs
Sushil Indora and Kailasho Saini also quit the INLD and joined
Congress.

Bureau Report



First Published: Monday, August 24, 2009 - 21:58

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