In the battle for Devi Lal’s legacy, the young Dushyant Chautala seems to have taken an edge over his uncle Abhay Chautala in Haryana.
In most of the Assembly constituencies, the Dushyant Chautala-led Jananayak Janata Party, JJP, has managed to replace the Indian National Lok Dal, INLD, which is headed by his uncle Abhay Chautala, as the third force behind the BJP and the Congress in the Haryana elections. The JJP is putting up decent fights on many seats, reducing the INLD to the fringes of state politics which it once dominated.
In almost every seat where INLD, which was founded by former deputy prime minister and great grandfather of Dushyant, Devi Lal, enjoyed influence, JJP has emerged as the inheritor of his legacy and has a decent support base.
Following a rift within the Chautala family, INLD suffered a vertical split with former Hisar MP Dushyant Chautala floating his own party JJP.
The name of the party is inspired from the popular image of Devi Lal. Presenting himself as Devi Lal’s true inheritor, Dushyant in his speeches talks about him and his model of politics but refrains from mentioning about his grandfather Om Prakash Chautala, who backed his uncle Abhay, in the battle for legacy.
In his bid to take the legacy forward, Dushyant is contesting from Uchana Kalan in Jind district, where he is in direct fight with BJP’s sitting MLA Prem Lata, wife of former Union Minister and Rajya Sabha member Birender Singh.
There have been instances in Indian politics of difference of opinions among the family members. There were also some nephews who tried to come out of their uncles’ shadow but failed to do so. Raj Thackeray is one such example, who left Shiv Sena to form Maharashtra Navnirman Sena and then Manpreet Badal, who formed the People Party of Punjab, after moving out of SAD. But both failed to taste enough success in the political arena.