Times of India
Manveer Saini

CHANDIGARH: A large number of contestants for the coming assembly elections in Haryana have been chosen because of family-connect, with top leaders. Of the 90 seats, more then 50 have gone to such candidates who have inherited power from within the family. The INLD, BSP and the Haryana

Janhit Congress have 10, 9 and seven such candidates. The Congress is far ahead: it has 24 such nominees.

Why such love for the family? Experts say this is because there is no law to govern the inner workings and financial systems of political parties. In any case, no party is keen to bring about such changes. "Feudal" calculations, they realise, work better for them.

Former chief minister Bansi Lal's daughter-in-law and tourism minister Kiran Choudhary are contesting from Tosham, Lal's son Ranbir Mahendera from Badhra and son-in-law Somveer Singh from Loharu.

Rao Virender Singh's son Yavinder Singh is fielded from Ateli, Rao Abhay Singh's son and Haryana minister Capt Ajay Singh is contesting from Rewari. While Virender Singh belongs to the family of Sir Chhotu Ram, Naraingarh candidate Ram Kishan is the

son of former minister Lal Singh. Similarly, Savitri Jindal comes from the family of industrialist-turned-politician family of Om Parkash Jindal. Her son is the MP from Kurukshetra. One of their (Jindal family's) relatives is contesting from Karnal.

''The situation must be corrected before it is too late by bringing a law for greater democratisation in the working of the parties," says Anil Berwal, national coordinator of Association of Democratic Reforms (ADR) and National Election Watch (NEW), the NGO that has filed PILs on political reforms. However, All India general secretary and Haryana incharge for Congress Prithviraj Chavan has a different take on this. ''The candidates in Haryana were shortlisted on the basis of their performance and winnability. We dropped candidates we thought were undeserving,'' he told mediapersons.

Kuldeep Sharma, working president of the Haryana Congress echoed this view: ''We have been careful. People like deputy chief minister Chandermohan have been denied candidature. On the other hand, we have brought in fresh faces who do not enjoy any influential political support."

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