INLD-Congress: Are they friends of convenience in Haryana?

OP Chautala has in the past run a vitriolic campaign against Congress' first family and levelled serious charges against Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi.

INLD-Congress: Are they friends of convenience in Haryana?

The upcoming Rajya Sabha elections have once again exposed the ugly underbelly of Indian politics where parties that were sworn enemies till the other day are embracing each other without any guilt or hesitation.

In Haryana, the Congress appears willing to do business with Indian National Lok Dal – conveniently forgetting the tainted past and present of INLD chief Om Prakash Chautala, who is currently serving a jail 10-year term after he was convicted in the JBT (junior basic trained) teachers' recruitment scam in Haryana.

OP Chautala has in the past run a vitriolic campaign against Congress' first family and levelled serious charges against Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi.

Chautala's deep-rooted hatred for the Congress: 

  • OP Chautala had triggered one of the biggest political crisis in the 1990s when he as Haryana CM ordered snooping on Rajiv Gandhi. The Congress demanded then PM Chandra Shekhar sack Chautala when that didn't happen, the party pulled the plug on the Janata Dal government.
  • In 2011, when the Congress-led UPA government was in power at the Centre and Bhupinder Singh Hooda was at the helm in Haryana, Chautala had alleged that they were the most corrupt governments ever. Congress has no agenda other than indulging in “loot”, he said.
  • OP Chautala's son Abhay Chautala went a step ahead in 2012 to suggest that the scam-ridden Hooda government should find a place in the Guinness Book of World Records. The Junior Chautala said that the Congress government was robbing Haryana by handing over precious government to the Gandhi family at a pittance to keep Sonia Gandhi happy.
  • In the run-up to the Lok Sabha polls, the OP Chautala - aiming to replace the Congress as the biggest political player in Haryana – trained his guns on Rahul Gandhi. Chautala called a press conference to 'expose' tax evasion by Rahul in a land deal in Haryana's Palwal district.
  • In late 2014, at the height of the 'Modi wave', Chautala came out of the jail on bail on health grounds, only to go back to his scheming ways. He tried to stitch together an anti-BJP, anti-Congress alliance and vowed to rid Haryana of the “corrupt Congress”.
  • The JBT scam may have been when the law caught up with Chautala's corrupt ways but it was not that first time he got involved in corrupt practices.
  • Even before he became an active politician, Chautala was disowned by his father Devi Lal after he was allegedly caught at the Delhi airport in 1977 while trying to smuggle wristwatches worth Rs 100,000.
  • When Devi Lal moved to Delhi as Deputy PM in 1989, he re-embraced his son and made him the CM of Haryana.
  • As CM in 1990, Chautala was accused of shielding police officer SPS Rathore in the Ruchika Girotra molestation case. The charge was levelled against Chautala by Ruchika's father. Ruchika had committed suicide later.