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Cong reclaims stronghold in Haryana's Deswali belt

Traditionally, a stronghold of the Congress, the state's ruling BJP had been making efforts over the years to weaken the grand old party's grip in the region. In the 2019 elections, the BJP swept Haryana, winning all 10 seats and smashing what were considered "bastions" of prominent political families.

News Arena Network - Chandigarh - UPDATED: June 5, 2024, 05:50 AM - 4 mins read

Congress logo.

Cong reclaims stronghold in Haryana's Deswali belt

Congress logo.


The politically significant Deswali belt of Haryana has been retained by the Congress in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections. The Jat-dominated region, which comprises the Rohtak and Sonipat parliamentary constituencies, has always been key for parties in the elections.

 

In this election, the grand old party won both the seats in addition to securing three more constituencies in the state.

 

The BJP had won all 10 seats in Haryana in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

 

Traditionally, a stronghold of the Congress, the state's ruling BJP had been making efforts over the years to weaken the grand old party's grip in the region.

In the 2019 elections, the BJP swept Haryana, winning all 10 seats and smashing what were considered "bastions" of prominent political families.


The saffron party had in the last elections secured victory in Rohtak - the Hooda family citadel where incumbent Deepender Singh Hooda had suffered defeat. The BJP had also defeated veteran leader Bhupinder Singh Hooda, who had entered the fray from Sonipat in 2019.

 

Having suffered setbacks in the 2019 elections, the Congress made a strong comeback this time.

 

From Rohtak, Congress' Deepender trounced BJP's sitting MP Arvind Sharma by a margin of 3,45,298 votes.

 

Deepender, son of former chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda, won with the highest vote margin among all the 10 seats. The Congress also tasted victory from Sonipat as party candidate Satpal Brahamchari defeated BJP's Mohan Lal Badoli.

 

Reacting to the performance of the Congress in Haryana and the INDIA bloc in the country, Deepender on Tuesday said, "This is a victory of democracy. People have voted to save the Constitution".

 

In the last general elections, the BJP had also won from Sirsa in the state's Bagri belt, where the saffron party was once considered weak.

 

However, this time BJP's decision to field turncoats from Sirsa as well as Jat-dominated Hisar backfired. Weeks ahead of the Lok Sabha polls, Ashok Tanwar and Ranjit Chautala joined the BJP.

 

Tanwar, who was earlier with the Congress and later also with the AAP, was given a ticket from Sirsa by the BJP. However, he suffered a heavy defeat at the hands of Congress stalwart Kumari Selja.

 

Likewise, Ranjit Chautala, an Independent MLA supporting the BJP government in Haryana, resigned as a legislator to join the BJP. Rewarded with a ticket from Hisar, he, however, lost to Congress veteran Jai Prakash.

 

In south Haryana, also referred to as the Ahirwal belt, where Union Minister and Gurugram MP Rao Inderjit Singh is the BJP's most prominent leader -- the Congress this time put up a challenge when they brought in Raj Babbar to contest against him.

 

Though Singh won with a vote margin of over 75,000 votes, it was significantly down as against the winning margin of 3,86,256 which he secured in the last elections.

 

Not just Rao Inderjit, but the victory margins of other winning candidates of the BJP were also considerably down this election.

 

For instance, BJP's Sanjay Bhatia won the Karnal parliamentary seat in 2019 with a massive margin of over 6.56 lakh votes over his nearest Congress rival. Union minister Krishan Pal Gurjar had in 2019 registered a massive victory over Congress rival by a margin of over 6.38 lakh votes from Faridabad. 

 

This time, Gurjar retained the seat by a margin of 1.72 lakh votes while former chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar, who was fielded by the BJP in place of Bhatia, won the seat by a margin of over 2.32 lakh votes.

 

During the poll campaign, the BJP had claimed that it would repeat its 2019 performance in Haryana by winning all 10 seats, but managed to win only five.

 

While campaigning, the BJP leaders claimed that both the Narendra Modi government at the Centre and the party's dispensation in Haryana have taken the country and the state on the path of progress with pro-people, pro-farmer, and pro-poor policies, the Congress leaders, including Bhupinder, had maintained there are multiple issues, such as inflation, unemployment and farmers issues that have not been tackled. 

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