Jolt to INLD as prominent INDIA bloc leaders skip Kaithal rally - Hindustan Times
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Jolt to INLD as prominent INDIA bloc leaders skip Kaithal rally

By, Kaithal
Sep 26, 2023 01:01 AM IST

Prominent leaders of the Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance (INDIA) bloc skipped the Indian National Lok Dal’s (INLD) annual Kaithal rally organised here to mark the 110th birth anniversary of party patriarch late Devi Lal.

Prominent leaders of the Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance (INDIA) bloc skipped the Indian National Lok Dal’s (INLD) annual rally organised here to mark the 110th birth anniversary of party patriarch late Devi Lal.

Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) president Sukhbir Singh Badal with J&K National Conference MP Farooq Abdullah and others during a programme on the 110th birth anniversary of INLD founder and former deputy Prime Minister Chaudhary Devi Lal, in Kaithal on Monday. Prominent leaders of the Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance (INDIA) bloc skipped the INLD’s annual Kaithal rally organised here to mark the 110th birth anniversary of party patriarch late Devi Lal. (PTI)
Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) president Sukhbir Singh Badal with J&K National Conference MP Farooq Abdullah and others during a programme on the 110th birth anniversary of INLD founder and former deputy Prime Minister Chaudhary Devi Lal, in Kaithal on Monday. Prominent leaders of the Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance (INDIA) bloc skipped the INLD’s annual Kaithal rally organised here to mark the 110th birth anniversary of party patriarch late Devi Lal. (PTI)

Besides the Congress and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), other leaders of the INDIA bloc, including Bihar CM Nitish Kumar, his deputy Tejashwi Yadav, West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee, Shiv Sena (UBT) chief Uddhav Thackeray, Akhilesh Yadav of the Samajwadi Party, Nationalist Congress Party leader Sharad Pawar, Communist Party of Indian (Marxist) general secretary Sitaram Yechury, former Jammu and Kashmir governor Satyapal Malik and Rashtriya Lok Dal’s Jayant Chaudhary did not turn up for the rally.

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While the Congress did not make any announcement whether its leader will attend the rally or not, National Conference chief Farooq Abdullah, Azad Samaj Party and Bhim Army chief Chandrashekhar Azad Ravan, Sukhbir Badal of the Shiromani Akali Dal attended the rally. The other parties sent their junior leaders.

The reasons for the absence of these leaders are unknown but political observers are of the view that the Congress was unwilling to attend the rally and in the absence of Congress leaders, the presence of other INDIA bloc leaders could have sent a wrong message.

The development proved a dampener for the INLD which seemed keen to join the INDIA bloc to revive its base in Haryana ahead of next year’s Lok Sabha and assembly elections in the state. Also, it’s a setback for INLD’s lone MLA Abhay Chautala who approached several leaders of the INDIA bloc and even met Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge to invite him personally for the rally.

United Oppn must to protect country: Farooq

Former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Farooq Abdullah said that only the united opposition could protect the country from the “present misrule”.

He accused the BJP of not conducting elections in Jammu and Kashmir. “After abrogation of Article 370, they claimed that peace will be restored but now our soldiers are being killed. Why are they silent on it,” he said.

“Neither the Hindus are a threat to Muslims nor the Muslims are threat to Hindus but people who divide us are the real threats for both. We need to get united to defeat them,” he added. Abdullah said that he will reach out to every party, including the Congress, so that all like-minded parties can be united.

In his brief address, Derek O’Brien of the TMC said, “All the parties should unite against the BJP to remove Prime Minister Narendra Modi.”

Even as Nitish Kumar did not turn up for the rally, JDU leader KC Tyagi said, “We have a big heart as it (defeating BJP) is not a small thing, and all parties need to get united for it”.

Tyagi, who was in favour of inducting INLD in the INDIA bloc, said that he would make efforts with the help of Abdullah to bring all the opposition parties together.

BJP leader and former Union minister Birender Singh also addressed the rally and said that there should not be any restriction on attending a programme on the anniversary of great leaders like Devi Lal.

Need to revive regional parties: Sukhbir

Sukhbir Badal stressed upon the need to strengthen the regional parities saying that the national parties are “not concerned” about the people.

“The regional parties like SAD and INLD are formed by visionary leaders like Parkash Singh Badal and Devi Lal. Such parties understand the problems of the people,” he said, adding that there is a need to revive the regional parties.

Besides, Shahid Siddiqui of RLD, Sher Singh Rana of Rashtarvadi Jan Lok Party and Chandershekhar Ravan of Bhim Army also addressed the rally.

Meanwhile, four-time Haryana chief minister and INLD supremo OP Chautala hinted at appointing his younger son, Abhay Chautala as his political heir.

“I request people to support Abhay and my blessings are always with him. If he makes any mistake, I will correct him,” Chautala said.

Absence of Cong a shot in the arm for Hooda

The absence of Congress party leaders from the INLD’s rally has come a shot in the arm for former Haryana chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda, who was opposing the alliance with the INLD.

Hooda was of the view that the Congress does not need any alliance in Haryana as the party was capable of winning the elections comfortably on its own.

“If the Congress high command would have sent any leader to the rally despite Hooda’s opposition, this could have proved damaging for Hooda,” said a political expert.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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    Neeraj Mohan is a correspondent, covering Karnal, Kaithal, Kurukshetra, Panipat and Yamunanagar districts of Haryana.

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