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Chautala Free At Last!

Om Prakash Chautala former four-time chief minister of Haryana has been formally released by Tihar jail after nine years and nine months in jail. He was already on parole since February 2020. In midst of the covid -19 pandemic, he has been at home because his parole was extended by the high court. He had been serving his sentence since 2013 when he along with his son, Ajay Chautala, and 513 others including, IAS officer Rajiv Kumar, were convicted and sentenced in the teacher’s recruitment scam in which 3,205 junior school teachers, were illegally recruited in the year 2000. They were sent to different prison terms by a special CBI court in January 2013

Chautala’s return could shift the political paradigm in Haryana. In the past few years, his party, Indian national lokdal (INLD), has disappeared from the political scene in Haryana with no legislators in the state assembly. Indian national lokdal was once the major force in Haryana. It was part of many coalition central governments and has since disappeared from the national scene owing to a split thorough internal feud in the Chautala family.

It also led to a breakup and emergence of JJP, the Jan Nayak Janta party formed by the nephew of Prakash Chautala, who currently serves as deputy chief minister of Haryana in coalition with the center BJP Party. OP Chautala release comes at a time when the farmer's agitation, which has been going on for several months now, will gain much-needed momentum. According to his son Abhay Chautala, who is the general secretary of the Indian national lokdal, and also the leader of the opposition in Haryana, he claims that his father will be visiting the border protest sites, to boost the morale of the farmers. The government has adopted many methods to defame the protesters, but it failed to do so.

Our party has ceaselessly raised its voice for farmers and laborers, and Chautala sahab’s release will give new momentum to the agitation.”  Previously  Abhay Chautala had resigned from his MLA seat in protest of the controversial farm laws and solidarity with the farmers. Abhay also claimed that Dushyant had never visited his uncle in the hospital or jail during these years Dushyant, had previously expressed that the release of his uncle comes as “happy news” and he is a “role model” for the family.

Although OP Chautala is 86 old years now and has been barred from taking part in any elections for another six years, he still has a lot of influence over jat communities in the heartland of Haryana. And could also fuel a possible revival of his Indian national lokdal party in Haryana. There are still talks of Sharad Pawar opening a third front against the BJP and the congress Chautala's INLD could be a possible ally as Sharad Pawar and OP Chautala have been good friends in the past.

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