A number of acclaimed sportspersons who had recently joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) have been given tickets for the October 21 Assembly elections in Haryana.
The sportspersons who got tickets for the upcoming polls include wrestler Babita Phogat, former Indian hockey captain Sandeep Singh and Olympic medallist wrestler Yogeshwar Dutt, reported news agency PTI.
Phogat, Singh and Dutt will be fielded from Dadri, Pehowa and Baroda Assembly constituencies respectively, the report said quoting BJP’s national secretary Arun Singh.
The saffron party on Monday (September 30) announced its list of 78 candidates for the upcoming polls after its central election committee held a meeting on Sunday. The national secretary said that the party has repeated 38 of its MLAs and dropped seven of them for the polls to the 90-member Assembly.
Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar has also been fielded again from Karnal, from where he had won in 2014, and is again the party’s chief ministerial candidate, the report added.
Arun further said that the state BJP president Subhash Barala will contest from Tohana, Captain Abhimanyu from Narnod and Om Prakash Dhankar from Badli.
Former Union minister and Jat leader Birender Singh’s MLA wife will contest from Uchana Kalan, a seat she had won in 2014. Aditya Devilal, a grandson of Jat stalwart Devi Lal, has been fielded from Dabwali, the report said.
The last date for filing nominations is October 4.
The opposition in the state has suffered desertion among its ranks and with its shrinking support base, as seen in the Lok Sabha polls, the BJP is confident of returning to power with a bigger mandate. BJP had come to power in Haryana for the first time in 2014, prior to which, it had only been a junior partner in non-Congress governments and was never seen as a principal force.
Since coming to power, the BJP has consolidated its political position further in the state as its rivals, Congress and INLD, were hit by internal fight made worse by their repeated poor shot in different polls.
The party banks upon Khattar, who it believes enjoys a clean image after running a government “untainted” by any corruption allegation.
(With inputs from agencies)