The Jannayak Janta Party (JJP) on Monday announced the names of its remaining three candidates for the Lok Sabha seats in Haryana, fielding its youth wing national president Digvijay Singh Chautala against former Congress Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda in Sonipat.
The announcement of JJP candidates came hours after the Congress made public its list of candidates for the five Lok Sabha seats in Haryana on Sunday evening.
Besides Sonipat, the party fielded Mehmood Khan, who retired as global leader of Unilever Innovation Process Development, from Gurugram, and former Zila Parishad member Jai Bhagwan Sharma alias DD Sharma from Kurukshetra.
Honoured with the NRI Bharat Samman in 2011, Mr. Khan, an MBA from IIM-Ahmedabad, has been an adviser to prominent companies and travelled across 75 countries in connection with his work. The lone Muslim candidate from Gurugram, he is pitted against the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) Rao Inderjit Singh and Congress’ Captain Ajay Yadav.
Mr. Chautala, a Jat, would be caught in a three-cornered contest with Mr. Hooda and the BJP’s sitting MP Ramesh Chandra Kaushik. He had lost to the BJP’s Krishan Middha in the Jind by-poll in January this year with the margin of around 12,000 votes. Sonipat is one of the three Jat-dominated Lok Sabha seats in Haryana, besides Rohtak and Hisar.
Contesting the Lok Sabha elections in Haryana in a coalition of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), the JJP, which was formed in December last year after a split in the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD), has mostly fielded young and educated candidates in a bid to appeal to around 56% electorate in Haryana below the age of 45 years. With its choice of candidates, the party, considered to have support mostly in the rural areas, especially among Jats, also attempts to woo the educated urban voters.