NEW DELHI: A close fight is underway in Haryana with the BJP currently leading in around 42 seats in the 90-member state assembly. The Congress is hovering around the 29-30-seat mark, while the Jannayak Janata Party (JJP) is ahead in around 11-12 seats. The half-way mark in the house is 45.
Whether or not the BJP gets a majority and is able to form the government on its own, JJP chief Dushyant Chautala has proved he is a force to reckon within the state, with the chance that he could even play kingmaker in case of a hung assembly.
Things You Need To Know About Dushyant Chautala
1. The JJP symbol is the key. Earlier on Thursday when leads pointed to a close battle in the state, party leader Dushyant said "We will have the key of power in the state. People have shown trust in our party and it is a sign of change in the state. BJP's slogan '75 paar' has failed and we will send them 'Yamuna paar'."
2. Dushyant Chautala is the great-grandson of former deputy prime minister Devi Lal and grandson of four-time Haryana chief minister and INLD president Om Prakash Chautala. His parents are Naina and Ajay Chautala, a former member of Parliament.
3. Dushyant's party -JJP- broke away from the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) less than a year ago -- in December 2018 -- after a bitter vertical split in the party and the Chautala family. Results of this state election show that the young leader is a rising force in the state, with his party set to make significant gains.
4. The INLD, which last governed Haryana from 2000 to 2004, split owing to a bitter battle between siblings Ajay and Abhay Chautala. Their father Om Prakash Chautala remained with the younger son Abhay. Ajay, the elder son who was seen as his father's natural heir, lost his chance after he was jailed along with the senior Chautala for 10 years in 2013 in connection with the teacher recruitment scam.
5. Dushyant, then the INLD MP from Hisar, soon faced opposition from uncle Abhay. This dispute between the uncle and nephew tore the family and the party further. Dushyant went on to form the JJP after serious difference with his uncle.
6. Dushyant has campaigned along with his great-grandfather Devi Lal who was in the fray in 1996 from the Rohtak Lok Sabha seat. During campaigning for the current polls, Dushyant appealed to the voters saying, "the JJP is the real representative of the legacy of Devi Lal". "The former deputy prime Minister was popular among masses as 'Jannayak' and that is the why we have included Jannayak in our party's name," he said.
7. Dushyant's campaign has focused largely on the youth with a promise of more job opportunities. In contrast, the INLD has relied more on its patriarch Om Prakash Chautala, who after completing his parole went back to jail on October 8.
8. Dushyant fought on JJP's symbol in the last Lok Sabha polls and finished second, losing to BJP first-timer Brijendra Singh, who is the son of Union minister Birender Singh.
9. JJP put up a decent show in the Jind bypoll this January in which it finished second and Congress national spokesperson Randeep Surjewala finished third.
10. Dushyant is a business administration graduate from California State University, Bakersfield, and an alumnus of the Lawrence School, Sanawar.