Chandigarh: BJP candidate Bhavya Bishnoi, the grandson of former Haryana Congress chief minister Bhajan Lal, won the prestigious Adampur bypoll on Sunday.
Bhavya, 29, has retained the seat that has been with the Bhajan Lal’s family since 1968. Sunday’s win is the 15th consecutive poll success for the Bhajan Lal clan. However, this is the first time that this seat has gone into BJP’s kitty.
Bhavya will be one of the youngest MLAs in the 90-seat Haryana Assembly. He has graduated from the London School of Economics followed by a master’s degree from Oxford.
The bypoll took place as Bhavya’s father and sitting MLA Kuldeep Bishnoi resigned from the Congress and joined the BJP in August. Kuldeep a two-time MP and four-time MLA, was expelled from the Congress in June after he cross voted against Congress Rajya Sabha candidate Ajay Maken.
The BJP was prompt to give the ticket to Bhavya so that he could debut from the family stronghold. Kuldeep has been trying to launch his son into electoral politics for the past few years.
In the 2019 general election, Bhavya had contested unsuccessfully on a Congress ticket against BJP’s Brijendra Singh in Hisar. He had even lost his deposit in that election.
On Sunday, Bhavya defeated his nearest contender Congress veteran leader Jai Prakash by a margin of over 16,000 votes. Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) candidate Kurda Ram Nambardar got 5,248 votes, while Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) candidate Satinder Singh could only muster 3,420 votes.
Apart from contesting from the Bishnoi home seat, Bhavya got the advantage of the dominant Jat votes getting divided as the AAP, the Congress, the INLD had fielded candidates from the community.
The vote share of the Bishnois on the seat has been steadily increasing. Bhavya mopped up 67,492 votes in this bypoll, bettering his father Kuldeep’s tally of 63,693 votes in the 2019 assembly elections. In 2014, Kuldeep got 48,224 votes. That year he was the Haryana Janhit Congress party candidate, a party his father Bhajan Lal had formed in 2007 after leaving the Congress.
Adampur was a stronghold of the Congress, the home bastion of three-time chief minister Bhajan Lal. However, in 2005 following the assembly elections, Bhajan Lal got upset with the Congress choosing Bhupinder Singh Hooda over him for the post of the chief minister. He left the party and created the Haryana Janhit Congress (HJC) in 2007.
In the 2009 assembly elections, the HJC won six crucial seats. Most of the winners, however, defected to the Congress as Hooda became the chief minister for the second term.
Kuldeep and his wife Renuka were the only two HJC winners in 2014. Two years later, Kuldeep merged the HJC with the Congress but the bonhomie lasted till August this year.
(Edited by Tony Rai)
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