Chandigarh: With a day left for filing of nominations, former union minister Venod Sharma's newly floated Haryana Jan Chetna Party Friday announced the names of 19 candidates to fight the upcoming electoral battle in the state.
Sharma, who made an unsuccessful bid to join BJP and later to forge an alliance with Mayawati's BSP and Gopal Kanda's Haryana Lokhit Party, declared the names of 19 contestants from his party at a press conference here.
Sharma's Jan Chetna Party is contesting the Haryana assembly polls in alliance with Kuldeep Bishnoi's Haryana Janhit Congress (HJC-BL).
Under the poll agreement between the two political outfits, Sharma's party will contest 25 seats whereas Bishnoi has fielded his candidates on 65 seats out of the total 90 assembly constituencies in poll bound Haryana.
Sharma said that he would declare the names of remaining six candidates by this evening.
Yesterday, Bishnoi had declared the list of 58 candidates. Sharma, whose son Manu is facing life term in Jessica Lal murder case, will himself contest from Ambala city.
He has fielded his wife Shakti Rani from Kalka assembly seat.
Before floating the Jan Chetna Party, Sharma was associated with Congress for four decades and once was considered man friday of Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda.
Among the 19 candidates also figure a former Haryana Staff Selection Commission (HSSC) member Vinay Sharma, who is daughter-in-law of Haryana's first Chief Minister Bhagat Dyal Sharma. She is contesting from Yamunanagar seat.
Asserting that he had made attempts to give representation to all sections of society while allocating party tickets, Sharma said that the only criteria in selection of party contestants is the winnability factor.
Sharma categorically ruled out forging alliance or giving support to Congress after the assembly polls.
"There is no question of giving support or re-joining the Congress after the polls," he said on being asked about his possibility to return to the Congress fold. He lashed out at the ten years of Congress regime in Haryana saying that young deserving people were kept away from jobs.
"The Congress government was not transparent in providing jobs to youths...There was regional bias in providing employment and development of Haryana," Sharma said. When asked whether he can support the BJP after the polls, he evaded a direct reply saying "in politics nothing is permanent."
He, however, said that there was lot of anger and resentment among people against the present Congress government in Haryana. "It is a writing on wall that the Congress is going to perform even worse than Lok Sabha polls in the upcoming assembly elections in the state," Sharma said.
In the recent Lok Sabha polls, ruling Congress' tally fell from nine seats to one out of the total ten.
He castigated the Bhupinder Singh Hooda government for giving extension to certain officers and making appointments on some seats in the past six months.
"These extensions and appointments were done for political considerations," Sharma added.
He said that he would fight for more than 35 per cent reservation to women and against corruption.
When his attention was drawn towards Bishnoi's absence today even as Sharma was present when the HJC head announced the list of candidates yesterday, the veteran politician said "Bishnoi is busy today as he is filing his nominations."
Haryana is going to polls on October 15 and tomorrow is the last date for filing of nominations.