In recent days, the political activities in Haryana’s capital have surged, with former Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda’s continuous engagement prompting a response from the BJP. In his second term, Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar is set to kickstart public interactions this Saturday in the city of Rohtak. While unlikely events, such as the Sirsa incident, have put the administration and BJP on high alert, the selection of complainants also remains intriguing.
Rohtak holds significant importance among the four constituencies in the district, with a 100% urban electorate. From Tau Devi Lal’s era to Lok Sabha elections, Rohtak city has consistently played a pivotal role. In the 1990s, during the three Lok Sabha elections contested between Tau Devi Lal and Bhupinder Singh Hooda, Rohtak city played a crucial role in Hooda’s hat-trick victory.
Even in the last Lok Sabha election, Dr. Arvind Sharma’s win for the BJP owed much to the contributions from this constituency. The 2019 state assembly elections saw former minister Manish Grover’s defeat rattling the Congress much like the 2014 state elections did. Therefore, the Congress is actively engaging Bhupinder Singh Hooda himself, while the BJP has thrown its own Chief Minister into the arena.
Rohtak city has been a stronghold for both the BJP’s stalwart, Dr. Mangal Sen, and the Congress’ Batra brothers since independence. From 1952 to 2019, except for the 1985 by-election and the 1996 state assembly elections, the Punjabi community has maintained its dominance, with Seth Shreekishan Das representing them. Dr. Mangal Sen contested nine elections from 1957 to 1987, securing victories in seven.
After his passing, the Batra brothers of the Congress took over. Subhash Batra became a legislator during Bhajan Lal’s tenure, followed by Shadi Lal Batra’s win. In 2009 and 2019, Bharat Bhushan Batra became a legislator. While the BJP’s Manish Grover broke the trend in 2014, he continued to hold the seat in the 2019 elections. Now, the BJP aims to wrestle the seat from the Congress once again, with Chief Minister Khattar taking an active role. However, before the state assembly elections, there will be another round of Lok Sabha elections.
Here is a summary of the winners in the state assembly elections in Rohtak:
- 1952: Devraj Sethi (Congress)
- 1957, 1962, 1967, 1968, 1977: Dr. Mangal Sen (Jan Sangh)
- 1972: Seth Kishan Das (Congress)
- 1982: Dr. Mangal Sen (BJP)
- 1985 (By-election): Seth Kishan Das (Congress)
- 1987: Dr. Mangal Sen (BJP)
- 1991: Subhash Batra (Congress)
- 1996: Seth Kishan Das (HVP)
- 2000, 2005: Shadi Lal Batra (Congress)
- 2009: Bharat Bhushan Batra (Congress)
- 2014: Manish Grover (BJP)
- 2019: Bharat Bhushan Batra (Congress)
As the battle for Rohtak intensifies, it remains to be seen whether the BJP can regain this crucial constituency from the Congress in the upcoming elections.