Hisar bypoll: Campaigning ends under Anna’s shadow

Last Updated: Tuesday, October 11, 2011 - 18:51

Hisar (Haryana): With Anna factor raising the
stakes for the Congress, the high-pitched campaign for Hisar
Lok Sabha bypoll dominated by wrangling between the ruling
party and Team Anna came to an end this evening.

With political heavyweights locked in a triangular
contest, the October 13 poll battle has turned fierce for
Congress as it has not only fight its opponents INLD and
BJP-HJC but also counter any negative fallout of Team Hazare`s
campaign which has openly come out against the party over the
Lokpal issue.
Congress has fielded three-time MP from Hisar, Jai
Prakash. He is pitted against Haryana Janhit Congress` Kuldeep
Bishnoi, son of late Chief Minister Bhajan Lal, and main
opposition INLD`s Ajay Singh Chautala.

Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda had been camping
here for over a fortnight canvassing for his party candidate
Jai Prakash. While Hooda`s prestige is at stake as he had
prevailed upon the Congress high command to name Prakash as
candidate, the poll is equally important for Bishnoi and the
Chautalas.

Following Team Anna`s appeal to people not to vote for
Congress in Hisar bypolls, the chief ministers of Haryana,
Delhi and Rajasthan and senior party leaders at a poll rally
here yesterday hit back at the civil society members, dubbing
them as agents of Opposition "trying to grind their own axe in
the guise of fighting graft".

INLD also held its poll campaign here today and asked
voters to teach a lesson to the Congress under which
corruption has allegedly flourished.

During poll campaign, Bishnoi invoked his late father
Bhajan Lal and claimed himself to be the only "clean"
candidate fighting from Hisar.

"I am Anna`s fan and have been supporting his cause right
from day one. Anna has asked people to leave out Congress and
choose a candidate with clean image. People know reputation
of Chautalas who are facing charges for amassing
disproportionate income," Bishnoi had said.

Ajay Chautala, at present sitting MLA from Dabwali in
Sirsa, also has tried to use the Anna card.
"Our party was the first to support him. We were even
ready to pass a resolution in the Haryana Assembly to urge the
central government to pass Jan Lokpal Bill as framed by team
Anna, but the Congress regime in the state did not support
us," Chautala said.

Meanwhile, Congress has tried to put up a brave front
during the poll campaign. Haryana unit chief Phool Chand
Mullana said the party is not perturbed by Team Anna`s
campaign and people will cast votes for Congress.

Bishnoi, whose five HJC MLAs switched over to the
Congress immediately after the October 2009 Assembly polls,
has his political future at stake.

Also at stake is INLD`s reputation, particularly in the
light of CBI cases facing its top leadership including Ajay.
The party reckons itself as the main challenger.

In all, there are 40 candidates, mostly Independents, in
the fray for the bypolls in the parliamentary constituency
which has approximately 13.32 lakh voters including 7.29 lakh
males.

PTI



First Published: Tuesday, October 11, 2011 - 18:51

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