INLD patriarch and former Haryana chief minister Om Prakash Chautala on Thursday said that he will be fighting the 2024 state assembly polls if his party gives him a ticket to contest.
"Who does not want to contest an election? If my party gives a ticket, then I will definitely contest," the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) chief told a press conference here.
When asked if he preferred to contest from Uchana Kalan assembly constituency in Jind, which is currently being represented by his grandson and Deputy Chief Minister Dushyant Chautala, the 88-year-old said, “Which Vidhan Sabha seat to contest, that is not my job. My party will decide who should fight from where.”
Dushyant Chautala currently heads the Jannayak Janta Party, which he formed after splitting from the INLD. The JJP is part of the ruling alliance in Haryana.
O P Chautala was awarded a 10-year prison term in a teacher recruitment scam case and was released from jail nearly two years ago after serving the term. As per existing law, he is barred from contesting elections for six years from the date of his release.
The INLD chief’s younger son and senior party leader Abhay Singh Chautala has previously said if there were no legal hurdles in view of the ex-CM's conviction earlier, OP Chautala will fight from Uchana Kalan.
Meanwhile, the former chief minister said he can not predict which parties the INLD may tie up with in the future. "We have entered into a tie-up with many parties in the past. The BJP against whom we are standing today, at one time – during Atal Bihari Vajpayee's time – we had given them unconditional support," he said.
On the opposition front INDIA, the INLD chief said all parties should join the group that will take on the BJP-led government. "Change will definitely come and circumstances will change and there will be an end to the misrule of this regime and a good government will be formed," he said.
Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance (INDIA) is a coalition of 26 opposition parties that has joined hands to contest against the ruling BJP in the next year’s Lok Sabha elections.
INLD chief blamed the ruling BJP for Haryana's “mounting debt”, “lack of development” and said people see his party as the only viable alternative.
The party’s 'Parivartan' yatra “is getting overwhelming response and support from people”, said OP Chautala, who is also touring the state.
If voted to power, he said the INLD will give Rs 7,500 a monthly old age allowance, job to every youth from one family, Rs 21,000 per month unemployment allowance to youth till they get employment.
Every housewife will also be given Rs 1,100 per month and every BPL (Below Poverty Level) family will be given a house constructed on a 100 square yard plot, he said.
The former chief minister also targeted the BJP government for not procuring bajra at the price they promised, he said. He also said that farmers have suffered heavy losses in the recent floods in the state and that the government should immediately provide compensation to those affected.
"I have seen it myself that there has been heavy loss due to floods. Not only damage to crops but water has entered people’s houses and damaged properties. Some have lost their lives,” he said, adding the government is not providing any help.
He also demanded that farmers who have suffered crop loss in the floods be given Rs 50,000 per acre of crop damage as compensation as against the Rs 15,000 per acre that is given at present. Rs 10 lakh be given to the kin of those who lost their lives in the floods as against Rs 4 lakh announced by the government, Chautala added.
-With PTI Input