Electoral debacle and lowest vote percentage of INLD & JJP in LS Poll 2024 puts question mark on its future

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Electoral debacle and lowest vote percentage of INLD & JJP in LS Poll 2024 puts question mark on its future

Saturday, 08 June 2024 | MANOJ KUMAR


The electoral defeat and lowest vote percentage of Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) and Jannayak Janata Party (JJP) in Lok Sabha election 2024 has put a question mark on the future of the two regional parties. In the recently held Lok Sabha election, JJP fielded candidates in all 10 Lok Sabha seats while INLD contested from seven seats. All the candidates of INLD and JJP lost their deposits on all seats.  INLD got a 1.74 percent vote share. JJP, till March BJP’s partner in the ruling coalition in the state before they parted ways, ended with a disastrous vote share of less than 1 percent. 

INLD was initially founded as the Haryana Lok Dal (Rashtriya) by Devi Lal in 1996, who served as the Deputy Prime Minister of India. The party is led by Om Prakash Chautala, the son of Devi Lal, both of whom have served as the Chief Minister of Haryana. His son, Abhay Singh Chautala is the General Secretary. The rift in the Chautala clan led to the formation of JJP by his great-grandson Dushyant Chautala in 2018.

In the 2024 Lok Sabha election, many of the JJP candidates, including Naina Chautala contesting from Hisar forfeited their deposits and finished fifth. Singer-rapper Fazilpuria’s first shot at politics flopped. But the Lok Sabha election went even more badly for his party JJP.  Fazilpuria, whose original name is Rahul Yadav, got just 13,278 of the 15.9 lakh votes cast (0.8%) across all nine assembly segments of the Gurgaon LS constituency.

The INLD, which was founded by Devi Lal and once a major political force in the state got 1.74 per cent vote share in this Lok Sabha election. The best performance by INLD came from Sirsa where party’s candidate Sandeep Valmiki finished third with about 92,000 votes. INLD candidate from Kurukshetra, Abhay Chautala finished third with about 78,000 votes. INLD Gurgaon candidate Sorab Khan received just 4,917 votes, which was less than the 6,417 NOTA votes polled.

The fight for both regional parties, all of whose candidates lost their deposits, now is for relevance in state politics. For Dushyant Chautala, especially, holding on to his flock will be a challenge. In its first assembly election in 2019, JJP won 10 seats out of 90 in Haryana and saw its political stock rise as BJP fell short of majority and needed allies. JJP joined the Government and Dushyant Chautala became deputy CM.

But after nearly five years as BJP’s governing partner, JJP faced the same backlash as the saffron party from farmers, who have been on protest since 2020, first against three farm laws the Modi govt brought and then withdrew, and then for a law guaranteeing minimum support price. At several places, the party was not allowed by farmers and locals to hold rallies and denied entry into villages. The anger also reflected in voting.

In Hisar – a stronghold of the Chautala family –Naina Chautala came fifth with 22,032 votes. INLD’s Sunaina Chautala was fourth with 22,303 votes. Three members of the Chautala family, the other being Ranjit Chautala (BJP), were contesting from Hisar from three different parties. Jai Prakash of Congress won with 5.7 lakh votes, defeating Ranjit Chautala by 63,381 votes. In overall vote share, BSP (1.2%), which has no MLAs in the state, finished higher than JJP.

In Kurukshetra, INLD general secretary and its lone MLA Abhay Chautala was a distant third with just 78,000 votes. BJP’s Naveen Jindal, who polled 5.42 lakh votes narrowly defeated Sushil Gupta of AAP by 29,021 votes in the seat.
AAP was in alliance with Congress in Haryana. Abhay Chautala had taken out a 215-day padyatra last year and gone to all 90 assembly constituencies of the state to connect with voters, but it seemed to have no impact.
Before the split, INLD had won two Lok Sabha seats in 2014 despite the Modi wave. Its candidates – Dushyant Chautala and Charanjeet Singh Rori – won from Hisar and Sirsa, respectively.

Amidst all this, questions are being raised on the recognition received by INLD and JJP as regional parties. Due to poor performance in the recent Lok Sabha elections, the status of regional party in Haryana can be taken away by the Election Commission.

The INLD, earlier known as Haryana Lok Dal (Rashtriya), was recognised as the state party after the 1998 parliamentary elections when it won four Lok Sabha seats. However, in the 2024 Assembly elections, the party will have to fulfill statutory Election Commission norms to retain the state party tag and save its reserved party symbol.

When contacted Ram Narain Yadav, a former Additional Secretary of the State Vidhan Sabha said that at the receiving end of the dismal performance in parliamentary and state Assembly elections since 2019, the INLD will have to fulfill the norms under the Election Symbols (Reservation & Allotment) Order, 1968, in the 2024 Assembly elections, failing which it would risk derecognition from the Election Commission.

According to him, as per rules, the candidates put up by the party must have secured not less than 8 percent of the total valid votes polled in the state in the last state Assembly. Besides, candidates of a party securing not less than 6 per cent of the total valid votes polled with at least two elected MLAs can also be considered as a condition for recognition as the state party.

Former Additional Secretary said that the party securing 3 per cent of the total number of seats or at least three seats in the Assembly, whichever is more, is also recognised as the state party and allotted a permanent election symbol. The INLD did not fulfill any of the above conditions in the 2019 Assembly and Parliamentary elections and 2024 Lok Sabha poll. The party secured 1.9% and 2.44% votes in the parliamentary and Assembly elections, respectively, in 2019. In the recently concluded parliamentary elections, the party polled 1.74 per cent votes. However, an amendment to the Election Symbols (Reservation & Allotment) Order, in 2016 provided relief to the INLD. The amendment allowed a political party to retain the ‘state party’ or ‘national party’ tag even after it loses eligibility in the next Lok Sabha or state Assembly elections, he added.

He further said that if the party fails to regain eligibility in the subsequent election to the state Assembly or the Lok Sabha, then it will lose its status as a state or national party. The INLD currently falls in this category, he added.

Talking to reporters, senior INLD leader Abhay Chautala said this was a general election and the INLD would perform better in the assembly poll. “This time, people voted for the formation of a national government. In the assembly election, we will emerge as a force,” said Chautala. 


Dushyant Chautala said that people “are angry because they consider us their own”. We get angry at those whom we consider as our own. We will continue to reach out to the people. We are here for the long run, we are not going anywhere,” he said.

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