The Chautalas, Hoodas, Jindals & Bishnois of Haryana
Haryana is awash with political families but a bitter feud has seen the spotlight firmly fixed on one of the most prominent among them — the Chautalas.
The row has pitted Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) patriarch and former chief minister, Om Prakash Chautala, and his younger son Abhay Chautala, who is the Leader of Opposition in the Haryana Assembly, against his elder son Ajay Singh Chautala and Ajay’s sons Dushyant and Digvijay.
The party patron had last year expelled Ajay, Dushyant (the Lok Sabha MP from Hisar) and Digvijay from the party. Dushyant launched the Jannayak Janata Party, which allied with the Aam Aadmi Party for the high-stakes Jind assembly bypoll last month.
Ajay Chautala’s wife Naina, meanwhile, is an MLA from Dabwali in Haryana.
Om Prakash, however, is not a first-generation politician. His father Devi Lal was India’s deputy prime minister between 1989 and 1991 besides having served as Haryana chief minister. Ranjit Singh, Om Prakash’s estranged younger brother, has also been a member of the Haryana assembly.
The Hoodas of Haryana are yet another set of powerful politicians. Ranbir Singh Hooda, a Congress politician, was part of India’s freedom movement and a member of the constituent assembly. His son Bhupinder Singh Hooda — an influential Jat leader — has served as the state’s chief minister while grandson Deepender Hooda is a Congress MP.
Industrialist O.P. Jindal was a senior politician who served as a minister in the state while his wife Savitri Jindal has also been a minister. Their son Naveen Jindal is a former Lok Sabha MP from Kurukshetra.
Haryana’s ties with powerful families include that of former chief minister Bhajan Lal. His son, Kuldeep Bishnoi, is an MLA in the state and so is Kuldeep’s wife Renuka. In 2017, Bishnoi merged his party — the Haryana Janhit Congress (HJC) — with the Congress. The HJC was a breakaway faction of the Congress led by Bhajan Lal.