Chandigarh: A day ahead of the crucial Rajya Sabha elections in Haryana, there is speculation that the state Congress may be leaning towards supporting the Independent candidate backed by the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD).
However, the Congress party may do well to recall that ahead of the Haryana Assembly Elections in 2014, the same party (INLD) had tried to forge a national alliance that was anti-Congress and anti-BJP.
At a rally to kick off his party's campaign for the state elections, INLD leader Om Prakash Chautala had brought together several national leaders on September 25, 2014 - the 100th birth anniversary of his father, INLD founder and former deputy prime minister Chaudhary Devi Lal.
In a symbolic message to the Congress and the BJP, Chautala played host to leaders like SAD chief Parkash Singh Badal, JD(U)'s Nitish Kumar and Sharad Yadav, JD-S' HD Deve Gowda, and Shivpal Yadav of Samajwadi Party at a rally in Jind.
Most of these leaders represent a political thought that is anti-BJP and anti-Congress and hence the potential of a grand alliance.
Despite being convicted in the teachers’ recruitment scam and subsequently barred by law from contesting, Chautala indicated at the rally that he was still a contender for the chief minister’s post.
“I will take oath in jail as the chief minister. Have you not heard of people being sworn in as ministers without being elected?” he asked. “I am not scared of going to jail,” he added.
Chautala was jailed in January 2013 and subsequently released on bail on health grounds.
At the rally, Nitish Kumar had stated that the rally could be a precursor to a grand alliance against the Congress and the BJP. He also recalled the role played by Devi Lal, the INLD founder, in dislodging the Rajiv Gandhi government at the Centre.