Chandigarh: Kuldeep Bishnoi-led Haryana Janhit Congress (HJC-BL) on Thursday declared the names of 58 candidates for the October 15 Assembly Elections and is set to announce another seven later in the evening.
Altogether, HJC will fight for 65 seats in the 90 member Assembly while its ally Venod Sharma-led Jan Chetna Party (JCP) will take on the rest 25.
Making the announcement in the presence of Sharma and his elder brother and former deputy chief minister Chandermohan, Bishnoi said the list of candidates was a "perfect balance" accommodating all sections of society.
He said that the candidates had the blessings of all 36 castes of the state, and added that he would announce the names of remaining seven candidates by this evening.
Venod Sharma, a former Union minister and a former Congress leader, said he would declare the names of 25 candidates of his party tomorrow.
Bishnoi will contest from his traditional bastion Adampur, while his wife and sitting MLA Renuka will fight from Hansi whereas Sharma is to seek votes from Ambala.
Chandermohan, who has been an MLA for five terms from Panchkula on Congress ticket, will test his nerves from Nalwa.
Former Congressman Dharampal Mallik, a one time strong supporter of Bishnoi's father Bhajan Lal, has been fielded from Tohana seat while Bishnoi's relative Dura Ram will fight from Fatehabad.
Of the total contestants, 45 are below the age of 55 years, Bishnoi said, adding that only two contestants were above 70 years of age.
HJC has fielded five women contestants and also romped Congress rebels Ravinder Rawal and Arjun Singh Gujjar.
After the media interaction, as Bishnoi and Sharma were leaving the venue, some political activists claiming to be of HJC, raised slogans against Bishnoi.
Former MLA Shashi Parmar, who claimed that he is general secretary of HJC, alleged that Bishnoi distributed tickets after "collecting" money.
He accused Bishnoi of ignoring party associates for "not paying money".
However, Bishnoi refuted the accusations and said that the only criteria to select candidates was the winnability factor of the individual.
During the press meet, Bishnoi, the younger son of former chief minister Bhajan Lal, said that the thrust of the HJC-JCP alliance is to provide transparent governance, fearless regime and equitable development of Haryana.
He lashed out at jailed leader Om Parkash Chautala-led Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) of being a "corrupt" party involved in "goondaism".
HJC formed the alliance with JCP after breaking up with BJP over differences on seat sharing.
Sharma said that the HJC-JCP alliance would get "close to majority" seats in the 90-member Haryana Assembly.
He lambasted Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda for allegedly indulging in favouritism and focusing on areas of Rohtak, Jhajjar and Bahadurgarh.