INld FiGht eX­cites BJP, coN­Gress

The Sunday Guardian - - Nation -

The pos­si­bil­ity of a split in the In­dian Na­tional Lok Dal (INLD) has emerged fol­low­ing the ex­pul­sion of Dushyant Chau­tala and Digvi­jay Chau­tala—party pa­tri­arch Om Prakash Chau­tala’s grand­sons. Dushyant is a Lok Sabha Mem­ber. Both the BJP and the Con­gress have stated fish­ing in INLD’s trou­bled wa­ters. Both are ex­pect­ing an ex­o­dus from the INLD, which has been out of power for over 14 years. The BJP is hope­ful of a split in the INLD’s Jat votes and a con­sol­i­da­tion of non-Jat votes in its favour, giv­ing it an edge in next year’s elec­tions. The BJP is also claim­ing that sev­eral INLD func­tionar­ies, in­clud­ing for­mer and cur­rent leg­is­la­tors, are in touch with them. Two BJP min­is­ters, Anil Vij and Kr­is­han Dev Kam­boj, have al­ready shown their “af­fec­tion” for Dushyant Chau­tala, say­ing that “they are wel­come to join the BJP”. San­jay Bha­tia, BJP gen­eral sec­re­tary, told The Sun­day Guardian that “Fac­tion­al­ism in the Con­gress and the INLD will prove their neme­sis. Our ex­cel­lent per­for­mance at the Cen­tral and state lev­els will put the BJP at a great ad­van­tage.”

On the other hand, the Con­gress be­lieves that an INLD split will fur­ther strengthen the hands of for­mer Jat CM Bhupin­der Singh Hooda, and con­sol­i­date Jat votes in its favour. It also be­lieves that a split in the INLD will “neu­tralise” any ad­van­tage the party will have ac­crued from its re­cent al­liance with the Bahu­jan Sa­maj Party.

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