Chandigarh: As Haryana voted on Wednesday to elect its new government in a multi-cornered contest, ruling Congress exuded confidence of retaining power in the state for the third consecutive time while BJP, INLD and HJC also claimed victory.
Riding on popularity of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BJP voiced hope of forming government and freeing the state of politics of caste, region and dynastic politics.
Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda claimed that the Congress will form its government for the third time in a row as people will put their stamp on the development work initiated by them.
With INLD supremo Om Parkash Chautala behind bars serving a 10-year sentence in graft case, his son Abhay Singh Chautala said that people of the state will give their verdict and decide on whether the Chautalas have indulged in corruption or not.
Chautala has been in jail along with his son Ajay Singh over the JBT Teachers recruitment scam and debarred from contesting elections. He has, however, been campaigning for his party and claiming that he will take oath as chief minister sitting inside Tihar Jail if his party wins.
Haryana Janhit Congress, which broke its alliance with BJP ahead of elections over seat-sharing, is also claiming that it will form the next government. BJP leader Abhimanyu, also in race for the top post, said, "BJP is contesting on all 90 seats with an aim to achieve genuine development in Haryana and eliminate dynastic politics and eliminate caste-based and region-based politics from the state".
He said, "Haryana is coming around and the good governance and development plank of Prime Minister Narendra Modi will win in the state. We will definitely win and form a government of the BJP in Haryana."
Abhay Chautala, meanwhile, said, "The Congress hatched a conspiracy with the CBI to put my father (Om Parkash) and brother (Ajay Singh) behind bars and people will give their verdict on whether they have done any corruption or not."
Hooda, on the other hand, claimed there is no anti- incumbency against Congress and instead there is pro- incumbency as people have lauded the development initiated by the Congress regime.
"I think all Haryanavis are satisfied with the performance and good governance given by the Congress in the last 10 years and after addressing rallies across the state I am confident that the Congress will form a government of its own for the third time in a row in Haryana," Hooda told reporters after casting his vote in Rohtak.
He also said that Lok Sabha elections and Assembly Elections in Haryana are contested on different grounds and cited examples of the past when Congress did not do well in 1999 Lok Sabha polls but won a number of seats in the Assembly polls held a few months later.
"Lok Sabha and Assembly Elections are fought on different issues and the results are different. Congress will do well in these polls," he said.
He also took a jibe at the Prime Minister addressing as many as 11 poll rallies in Assembly Elections and said he would "welcome Modi to be Chief Minister of Haryana", going by his aggressive campaign.