Haryana polls: Parties' decision to field khap leaders fails to click

Political parties' decision to put to test Khap leaders at the hustings in Haryana failed to deliver desired results.

Chandigarh: Political parties' decision to put to test Khap leaders at the hustings in Haryana failed to deliver desired results.

Four Khap leaders were in fray in Haryana: two from BJP, one from INLD and another tried his luck as an Independent candidate.

Ghatwal khap head Baljeet Malik was fielded by the BJP from Baroda assembly seat. He, however, lost out to the Congress and INLD candidates.

From this seat, Sri Krishan of Congress romped home victorious, defeating Dr Kapoor Singh Narwal of INLD. Malik, a representative of the one of the biggest khap in Haryana, finished poor third.

Meham Choubasia khap head Shamsher Kharkara contested unsuccessfully on the BJP ticket from Meham seat. He lost the polls to Congress sitting MLA Anand Singh Dangi by a margin of 9,657 votes.

Shamsher had recently unsuccessfully contested Lok Sabha polls on INLD ticket from Rohtak. He was drubbed by chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda's MP son Deepender Singh.

Dr Santosh, another khap leader, put her bet as INLD candidate from Beri seat. But she lost badly to Dr Raghubir Singh Kadian (Cong) and Chattar Singh (Independent). The woman Dahiya khap leader finished third.

Kandela khap leader Tekram's decision to enter the fray as independent after the Congress denied him ticket did not pay dividends.

He finished at poor seventh position from Jind seat. The seat was won by Dr Hari Chand Middha of INLD who trounced BJP's Surinder Singh Barwala by a margin of 2,257 votes.

Some 92 Khaps, a highly influential self-styled caste councils, in Haryana were being considered key to the outcome of assembly polls as Prime Minister Narendra Modi too had reached out to them ahead of the polls.

Modi, during his canvassing in the state in Jind had reached out to Khaps or caste councils that hold sway in the state.

Nogama khap head Sunil Jaglan said that khap leaders' foray into political arena is not accepted by the people of the state.

"Khap leaders entry to politics is not acceptable to the people, or else one of the khap leader must have won," he opined.

Khaps have drawn flak in recent years for controversial diktats on same-gotra (sub-caste) marriages and other issues. Besides, they have played a crucial role in resolving movement launched for reservation of Jats.

Some of the major Khaps in Haryana include Nogama, Kandela, Meham Choubasia, Khera, Ghatwal and Satrol.

These khaps have considerable influence in districts of Jhajjar, Rohtak, Bahadurgarh, Sonipat, Jind, Hisar, Kaithal, Gurgaon, Bhiwani and Mahendragarh.  

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