The All India Congress Committee (AICC) communication in-charge, Randeep Singh Surjewala, eyeing a hat-trick from his stronghold of Kaithal lost by a margin of 1246 votes. The BJP pitted former MLA Lila Ram Gujjar against Surjewala. Lila Ram won as an INLD candidate in the 2000 election. Madan (BSP), Anil Kumar (INLD), Ramphal Malik (JJP), Shyam Lal (LSP), Jasvir (Sarvhit Party) are the other notable candidates. Kaithal has 2.03 lakh voters 1.08 lakh males and 95,000 females.
The Congress has won seven times from Kaithal in 1967, 1968, 1972, 1991, 2005, 2009 and 2014. Om Prabha Jain won as the Congress candidate in 1967 and 1968. Charan Dass Shorewala won on Congress ticket in 1972. Raghunath won as Janata Party candidate in 1977.
Meanwhile, trends released by the Election Commission (EC) suggest a neck and neck fight between the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Congress. The BJP, which had set a target of winning 75 seats ahead of the polls, is leading in 35 seats, whereas the Congress is also ahead in 35 constituencies. The fledgling Jannayak Janta Party, which fought its maiden assembly polls, is also ahead in 10 seats. If the trends hold, the JJP could likely emerge as the kingmaker and hold the key to formation of the next government.
The Indian National Lok Dal is ahead in two seats, while the Bahujan Samaj Party and the Loktanter Suraksha Party are leading in one constituencies each, according to the latest trends.
JJP leader Dushyant Chautala said â€œthis shows there was a huge anti-incumbency against the Khattar governmentâ€Â. Asked about which party the JJP give support, he said: â€œItâ€™s too early to say anything. We will first summon a meeting of our MLAs, decide who would be our leader in the House and then take it further.â€Â Dushyant Chautala took a swipe at the Bharatiya Janata Partyâ€™s â€œMission 75â€Â, saying the saffron party would fall way short of their target. â€œPeople of Haryana want change,â€Â he told reporters.