INLD says seat sharing not an issue
Last Updated: Monday, August 24, 2009, 21:58
Chandigarh: Dumped by its ally, the Indian National Lok Dal, which has witnessed its worst electoral debacles in recent times, on Monday said it was unilateral action by BJP and seat sharing was not an issue.

"There has been no problem from our side.... Seat sharing is not an issue," INLD's Secretary General and Rajya Sabha MP Ajay Chautala said, adding BJP had taken a unilateral decision of snapping ties with it.

BJP chief Rajnath Singh today said the situation "must have arisen over seat sharing" after the party broke its alliance ahead of the Haryana assembly elections.

Already reeling under a series of desertions by senior leaders after the rout in Lok Sabha elections, the INLD, however, put up a brave front saying it was ready to fight the elections on its own.

"The party is fully prepared to record its win," INLD Haryana unit President Ashok Arora said here. A meeting of the Paty's Political Affairs Committee (PAC) will be held here on August 27 to decide the future course of action.

The party, which failed to open its account in the last two Lok Sabha elections, received the bolt from the blue even as it was running advertisements urging the people to vote out the Congress to bring back the times of 'Tau', referring to party's founder and Chautala's father former Deputy Prime Minister Devi Lal.

The decline for the party started right after the 2004 Lok Sabha polls, when it had broken ties with BJP. While BJP managed to win the Sonepat Lok Sabha seat, INLD was wiped out.

The party witnessed its worst electoral debacle in February 2005 Assembly elections when it lost power to Congress and its strength was reduced to nine in the 90-member House.

Even Chautala, who had fought from two seats, lost one but managed to win from Rori segment.

While Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda gradually rising in stature as a Jat leader, Chautala appears to be losing grip on the community which was the party's major vote base.

The 2009 Lok Sabha polls resulted in yet another setback to the party, which had less than a year back again patched up with the BJP. The alliance failed to stop Congress juggernaut as it retained nine of its ten seats.

When INLD was not part of NDA, it also projected itself as a key party of the United National Progressive Alliance (UNPA), but could not derive any mileage as the Dront, which had been formed as an alternative to Congress and the BJP, failed miserably.

Recently, its veteran leader and former minister Sampat Singh deserted the party to join the Congress.

Sampat, who snapped ties with INLD after being part of it for 32 years, accused the party of drifting from the ideology of Devi Lal.

Several other senior leaders including former MPs Sushil Indora and Kailasho Saini also quit the INLD and joined Congress.

Bureau Report

First Published: Monday, August 24, 2009, 21:58

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