HJC sends jitters, rivals put up brave face
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The HJC rally at Sirsa, the political 'den' of former Chief Minister Om Prakash Chautala has sent jitters among the rivals of BJP-HJC alliance, including the Congress, though both are putting up a brave face. HJC chief Kuldeep Bishnoi, after the successful rally, is busy chalking out his next course of action, whereas the Congress dismissed his claims of a successful rally, and the INLD said that the claims of large crowd were only hollow.
However, sources said that the government depending on its own intelligence reports was concerned about the growing popularity of the newly formed alliance and wanted to bring its house in order to counter it before it became a formidable threat in the 2014 Assembly polls. Senior BJP leaders though participated in the rally and tried to share the credit for the crowd, state BJP leaders privately admitted that it was the single-handed effort of Bishnoi to bring the crowd to the Chautalas stronghold.
Ironically, the HJC has been considered a one-district party. It won six seats in the 2009 Assembly polls, but after Bishnoi failed to strike a deal with the Congress, five of the six MLAs left the party to rejoin the Congress, and grabbed one or the other position of benefit in the government. This left Bishnoi as the lone member of the HJC in the Assembly, but then after the death of his father and former Chief Minister Bhajan Lal, Bishnoi contested from the Hisar Lok Sabha seat and retained his father's seat though with a slender margin defeating INLD general secretary Ajay Singh Chautala and Jai Prakash of the Congress. The Adampur seat vacated by him was retained by his wife Renuka Bishnoi.
The HJC chief, since then has been on an all out effort to break out from the one district and one family impression. His rallies are conducted in different parts of the state in an obvious bid to gain political ground beyond the barriers of his native district of Hisar that was known as his father Bhajan Lal's pocket borough.