Kurukshetra Lok Sabha seat: Why BJP faces a tough battle despite rising vote share

Kurukshetra Lok Sabha seat: Why BJP faces a tough battle despite rising vote share
Kurukshetra Lok Sabha seat: Why BJP faces a tough battle despite rising vote share

The Kurukshetra Lok Sabha seat in Haryana is witnessing a triangular contest this time between the BJP, the INDIA bloc, and the INLD. The BJP, which won the seat on the last two occasions, is seeing a tough contest even as its vote share has risen in the previous decade.

The BJP has fielded industrialist Naveen Jindal on the seat, who recently switched over from the Congress. The Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) has fielded Abhay Chautala while Sushil Gupta of the Aam Aadmi Party is the INDIA bloc candidate from Kurukshetra.

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The Congress has won the seat a maximum of eight times, followed by the INLD and BJP, who have won two elections each. The BJP won the seat in 2014 and 2019 Lok Sabha polls.

However, despite the improving vote share, the BJP faces a tough contest this time due to anti-incumbency and other reasons.


In Kurukshetra, the BJP’s vote share has consistently grown since 2009. The BJP’s vote share was 36.81 per cent in 2014, which increased to 55.98 per cent in 2019.

The Congress’s vote share appears stable since 2014. It was 25.33 per cent in 2014 and further slipped to 24.71 per cent in 2019.

The INLD has witnessed a sharp decline in its vote share in the last 10 years. The party’s vote share was 25.39 per cent in 2014 which went down to 4.93 per cent in 2019.


The Kurukshetra Lok Sabha constituency comprises nine assembly segments — Kaithal, Pundri, Kalayat, Guhla, Pehowa, Thanesar, Shahabad, Ladwa, and Radour. The constituency has a mix of voters on the caste lines but the Jat community dominates the area.

Among 17,88,491 voters, 14 per cent are Jats, Brahmins and Sainis comprising 8 per cent each, 6 per cent Punjabis, 4 per cent Sikhs, and 5 per cent to the Agarwal community.

While Abhay Chautala is a Jat leader, both Naveen Jindal and Sushil Gupta are from the Baniya community (Jindal is an Agrawal).

This is the first time the BJP has not fielded a candidate from the Other Backward Classes (OBC) on the seat.

While Raj Kumar Saini was fielded in 2009, Nayab Sing Saini was given a ticket in 2019. Naveen Jindal, a Congress turncoat who represented the community from 2004-14, replaced Nayab Singh Saini after the latter was selected as the Chief Minister of Haryana.

Psephologists say the battle in Kurukshetra is a direct fight between the BJP and INDIA bloc but INLD cannot be underestimated as it enjoys a strong base in the GT Road rural belt.


Despite getting a heavy vote share in the last two general elections, the BJP is bracing for a decade-long anti-incumbency in Kurukshetra. The party may face difficulty in wooing the Jat voters due to the growing mistrust among this dominant community. Farmers, most of whom are Jats, are miffed with the BJP as they claim that their demands have not been met.

The INLD and INDIA bloc (AAP and Congress) are trying to woo the farmers’ community to corner the BJP whose nominees are facing opposition from the farmers in many constituencies in Haryana.

AAP leaders are seeking votes for Sushil Gupta in the name of freebies, including 200 units of free electricity and Rs 1,000 to unemployed youths, women, and farmers.

“The BJP is an army led by Kauravas. We, the Pandavas, will defeat them on all 10 seats,” AAP leader Sanjay Singh told India Today TV.

Interestingly, even as the BJP faces opposition from the Jat community in other constituencies, Naveen Jindal enjoys a sizeable base in the rural belt.

Jindal said that Kurukshetra has witnessed all-round development during the past ten years. He has promised to open a skill development center in the city besides other promises.

“I am first a chhora (boy) of Haryana. For me, the nation comes first. The claims made by the rivals will be punctured after PM Modi addresses the people,” Naveen Jindal told India Today TV.

Published By:

Rishabh Sharma

Published On:

May 2, 2024

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