Bansi Lal family making bid to regain traditional seat

Bansi Lal family making bid to regain traditional seat
Tosham (Haryana), Jan 23 (PTI) The family of former Chief Minister Bansi Lal is all set to make a bid to regain its traditional Tosham assembly seat in Bhiwani district through his younger son Surender Singh, who is making his third attempt to enter the Haryana Assembly after a gap of 17 years.

Out of the nine elections held so far since the formation of the state in 1966, the seat had been won by Bansi Lal (a record five times) and his son Surender Singh twice - once as an Independent in 1977 and as a Congress nominee in 1982. He represented the constituency after Bansi Lal completed three successive terms in 1967, 1968 and 1972.

But despite this record Bansi Lal tasted defeat from Tosham in 1987 when Dharam Vir (Lok Dal) was elected.

After Bansi Lal merged with Congress his Haryana Vikas Party (HVP), as whose nominee he won in 1991 and 1996, Dharam Vir, who is with Congress now, has been shifted to Bhadra constituency to make way for Surender Singh who is comfortably placed in a 14-cornered contest.

The other candidates, including Sunil Lamba of the ruling INLD and Col Mangal Singh of the BJP seem no match to Surender Singh, an astute politician, observers say.

Surender Singh is asking for votes on developmental issues for which the Bansi Lal family has already earned a name by providing roads, electricity, schools, colleges, hospitals, canal lift irrigation system and drinking water.

The landscape of Tosham and the district headquarter town of Bhiwani underwent a total change during the Chief Ministership of Bansi Lal, who held the post four times since 1966. He had secured large amount of funds for the area when he was the Chief Minister and Union Minister under former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.

An ageing Bansi Lal, according to sources close to the family, merged his HVP with the Congress following the pleadings of Surender Singh and his wife, Kiran Chaudhary, who had remained with Congress even when her husband and father-in-law ran the HVP.

The first signs of the merger had come last year when during the Rajya Sabha elections from the state HVP supported Kiran Chaudhary who had been put up by the Congress.

Surender Singh had won for the first time in 1977 as an Independent and later was nominated by the Congress in 1982.

The INLD Government led by Om Parkash Chautala faces anti-incumbency factor in the constituency as also other parts of the state. The ruling party also faces allegations of corruption and deteriorating law and order in the state.

The BJP, which is contesting for the first time on its own, had no base of its own in the state as it had jointly fought the elections in the past - first with the Bansi Lal led HVP and later with Chautala led INLD.

The saffron party fell out with both the regional parties and this time has been forced to contest on its own as it had failed to forge an alliance with any other party.

Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and other nominees, including independents, do not have much base, observers say.

Next Story : Women candidates increase, independents decrease in Haryana
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