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Why Congress fielded Kaithal MLA Surjewala from the seat

January 11, 2019 06:33 AM


Rajesh Moudgil ■
Why Congress fielded Kaithal MLA Surjewala from the seat
CHANDIGARH: By fielding Randeep Surjewala in the Jind bypoll, the Congress has sprung a surprise to its rival parties – the ruling BJP, main opposition party Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) and the recently floated Jannayak Janata Party (JJP).

The Congress’ selection is being seen as its effort to stay ahead in the perception game, especially after its recent win in the three BJP-ruled states.

By doing so, it has put its best foot forward a few months ahead of the parliamentary and assembly polls in Haryana.

One of the Congress’ most visible and suave spokespersons, Randeep comes as a challenge to chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar-led BJP which is riding high on its recent win in the five civic bodies elections.

Though Krishan Middha, son of late INLD MLA Hari Chand Middha, sided with the BJP after his father’s death, and is its candidate, the party would have to sweat it out at the hustings with the Congress upping the stakes in the fray now.

Randeep, 51, hails from Surajakheda village in Jind – the Jat heartland – and is the son of senior Congress leader Shamsher Singh Surjewala.

Randeep’s claim to fame is defeating INLD supremo and former five-time chief minister Om Prakash Chautala twice from Narwana, an assembly segment in Jind district.

Himself a Jat, Randeep faces two other Jat candidates – INLD’s Umaid Singh Redhu and JJP’s Digvijay Chautala – while the BJP has fielded a Punjabi candidate, Krishan Middha.

A four-time MLA, currently representing Kaithal, Randeep heads the communication wing of the AICC. He is a law graduate from Panjab University and was the youngest general secretary of Haryana Youth Congress.

He later became the first Haryana leader to be appointed as the national president of the Youth Congress.

A win will obviously silence Randeep’s adversaries and may as well settle the leadership tussle in state Congress, which has since long been witness to acute bickering between state chief Ashok Tanwar and former chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda.

A defeat would be a setback for the Congress and more for Randeep because he is the most experienced and established candidate in the fray.

Political observers say that party chief Rahul Gandhi’s confidence in Randeep’s candidature has projected him as the one who can take on the ruling party head-on.

This is expected to bring all factions of the party together in the state

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