INLD split: Om Prakash Chautala's elder son Ajay Singh floats new party, hands over reigns to younger brother as a 'gift'
The INLD split on Saturday with former Haryana chief minister Om Prakash Chautala's elder son Ajay Singh Chautala declaring he will set up a new party.
Jind/Chandigarh: The INLD split on Saturday with former Haryana chief minister Om Prakash Chautala's elder son Ajay Singh Chautala declaring he will set up a new party. "I hand over the INLD and the spectacles (party symbol) to my younger brother as a gift," Ajay Chautala, who was recently expelled from the party, told his supporters in Jind. He also declared a war of sorts against his brother Abhay Singh Chautala, invoking the Mahabharata. “Duryodhana,” he said, in a veiled reference to the brother, “I spell out my final decision that now there will war, and not any pleas." "Now, Duryodhana, you will be destroyed," he said in Hindi.
The Jind announcement ended the simmering power struggle in the Indian National Lok Dal, which also saw the expulsion of Ajay Chautala's sons Dushyant Chautala and Digvijay Chautala from the Haryana-based party. The two were shunted out weeks after their slogan-shouting supporters allegedly targeted Abhay Chautala at an INLD rally in Gohana. Ajay Chautala and his brother Abhay Chautala held parallel meetings on Saturday.
The elder brother had termed his Jind event a meeting of the party's “state executive”, while Abhay Chautala held a workers' meeting in Chandigarh. Abhay Chautala said had his two nephews apologised to their grandfather and party chief Om Prakash Chautala over the “hooliganism” at the Gohana rally, they may not have been expelled. Ajay Chautala, who is facing a 10-year jail term along with father Om Prakash Chautala since 2013 in a teachers' recruitment scam, said the new party will hold a rally in Jind on 9 December. He is currently on a two-week parole.
Ajay Chautala hinted that his MP son Dushyant Chautala will be the leader of the new party and suggested that a large number of INLD workers remained with him. "Many workers have resigned from the INLD. I will hand over their resignations to Om Prakash Chautala on November 20,” he said, indicating a meeting with the patriarch when he returns to Tihar Jail. "I will tell Om Prakash Chautala that those who resigned from the INLD are true workers of the party and not those who want to break and destroy it," he said. He claimed that someday the senior Chautala would join him on his platform. "Just four people sitting in Chandigarh use fraudulent means to take unilateral decisions and then get them ratified from Om Prakash Chautala," he said, hitting out at the rival group over the expulsions.
Ajay Chautala reiterated that Indian National Students Organisation (INSO) was set up by him and nobody else had the right to dissolve it. The INSO headed by his son Digvijay Chautala was “dissolved” by party president Om Prakash Chautala. In October, At Ajay Chautala's show of strength three MLAs — his wife Naina Chautala, Rajdeep Phoghat and Anoop Dhanak — out of 18 of INLD legislators were present. Abhay Chautala told reporters in Chandigarh that his brother had failed to demonstrate his strength. “Claims were being made that most of the MLAs were with them,” he said. “Only two MLAs were there, and 15 MLAs openly supported us. One MLA was neither with them nor with us,” the younger brother claimed.
He said the state executive comprising MLAs, district presidents and other office bearers has passed a resolution expressing faith in the leadership of Om Prakash Chautala at his Chandigarh meeting. “Their attempts failed as 95 per cent of the state executive was present in Chandigarh. Out of the remaining five per cent, I think two percent may have gone with them,” he said. He predicted that members of the rival group will now try to find a party they can join. “Forming and running a party is not everybody's cup of tea,” Abhay Chautala said.
On a possible compromise between the two brothers, he said the two young leaders should have apologised over the "hooliganism" at the rally. “We were expecting Ajay Singh Chautala to convince his sons and ask them to seek an apology from their grandfather. But he also went along with them,” he said.
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