BJP gains ground, Cong down
The results of the elections to the Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs) in the state indicate the BJP, which had no considerable mass base at the grass-roots level, has started gaining ground in rural Haryana. At the same time, the INLD has made its presence felt in several segments. The INLD leadership has claimed candidates supported by the party would head the zila parishads in a majority of districts.
As for the Congress, its performance seems to have gone down even in areas which were considered its strongholds till recently, primarily owing to the rampant infighting in the party.
Opposition leaders point out that there is a general tendency that the successful candidates pledge their support to the ruling party for obvious reasons. As the PRI elections are generally not contested on party-symbols, the leadership of the ruling party also eagerly inducts them into the party-fold and claims a sound performance. Nonetheless, political observers maintain the BJP, which lacked grassroots-level support, especially at the panchayat and block levels, has been able to penetrate deeper in state politics, even if it is by virtue of the party being in power.
The INLD leadership has proved the party may be passing through a rough patch, but it cannot be written off that easily, especially owing to the presence of its devoted cadres in state villages.
The other parties such as BSP and Communist parties have been able to win some elections in their pockets of influence, while the Haryana Janhit Congress leadership seems to have remained disinterested in the PRI poll.