Hisar (Haryana): As the date of Assembly election in Haryana draws near, the political temperature in the state is rising with each passing day. The ruling party as well as the opposition are leaving no stone unturned to get their permutation and combination right. In their poll strategy, Hisar holds centre-stage as the district has the highest number of seven Assembly constituencies.
But this is not the only reason that makes the district so important for the entire state. It has been a witness to gallantry, sacrifice, patriotism, and a glorious political tradition. It is also called Steel City because of several steel plants owned by businessman-turned-politician Naveen Jindal.
According to historians, from 1353 till 1357 A.D., Delhi— the capital of the country—used to be administered from Hisar. Sultan Firoz Shah Tughlaq lived in Hisar for around four years after he founded it 1354, administering his empire from there. The reason behind this was his love story.
Inner courtyard of Firoz Shah Palace
According to popular history as well as government records, the story goes back to a time when Tughlaq had not assumed the throne of Delhi Sultanate. Hisar, in those days used to be a dense forest, where Prince Tughlaq used to go out for hunting. He first came to Hisar for hunting around 1342. There he fell in love with a girl named Gujari who had helped revive him after he became unconscious while hunting. He proposed her to marry, but Gujari refused to go to Delhi. This prompted Tughlaq to build a palace (known as Feroz Shah Palace), mosque (Lat ki Masjid), cellar, another palace for Gujari and a garden in Hisar, and this is how the city came into existence. This is also mentioned in Hisar district’s official website.
‘Hisar’ is a Persian word meaning fort or enclosure. The remains of prehistoric civilisation were found for the first time during the excavation of Agroha, Rakhigarhi, Banawali, Kunal and Bhirdana areas in Hisar district. Banawali, Kunal and Bhirdana are now in Fatehabad district. The study of the human remains gave information about the pre-Harappan settlement in the region and prehistoric times.
During the Mughal period, Hisar used to be granted to the next successor of the empire. Humayun, Akbar, Jahangir, Shah Jahan — all Mughal emperors were given the fiefdom of Hisar before being declared successors.
The First Struggle for Independence
On May 29, 1857, Indian revolutionaries from Hisar hoisted the flag of independence at Nagori Gate after killing several Britishers, including Deputy Collector William Wedderburn. Following this, the British government launched a massive attack to re-occupy the city by calling their army from Bikaner. The revolutionaries of Hisar and surrounding regions fought with the Britishers with full force. Finally, on August 19, 1857, Hisar once again came under British occupation.
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Delhi had three districts during the British period—Central, Southern and Western districts. The Western district had jurisdiction over Bhiwani, Hisar, Hansi, Sirsa, Fatehabad and Rohtak. Hisar was given the status of a district in 1861. At the time of formation of Haryana in 1966, Hisar was the largest district in the state. Bhiwani was carved out of Hisar on December 22, 1972. Some areas of Hisar were also added to Jind when the latter was declared a district in 1974. Later, on September 1, 1975, Sirsa was carved out from Hisar district. On July 15, 1997, another district (Fatehabad) was carved out from Hisar.
THE HISAR OF BANSI LAL AND BHAJAN LAL
Despite the separation of three districts from Hisar, it witnessed a rapid growth. Choudhry Bansi Lal (Congress) and then Bhajan Lal (Congress and Janata Party) contributed a lot to the development of the district. This is the only city, which has three government universities. Asia’s largest agricultural university and auto market are also located here.
Hisar’s livestock farm is reportedly one of the best in Asia. Established in 1815, these farms are famous in foreign countries as well. There is a horse research centre, a sheep breeding research centre and a buffalo research centre in the district. The Central Buffalo Research Centre, Hisar, has gained fame across the country by producing Murrah buffalo worth Rs 25 lakh.
Haryana Agriculture University is the hallmark of Hisar. It was founded in 1970. Lala Lajpat Rai University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences also makes Hisar special. Guru Jambheshwar Technical University and Agroha’s medical college have also brought recognition for the district. Hisar’s importance increased with the Army cantonment and Border Security Force camp.
Now, the city is on the threshold of becoming a Counter Magnet City to reduce the burden of increasing air traffic in the capital of Delhi. Hisar is also known as Ispal Nagri, Steel City and Magnet City. Repairing of aircraft in the country began here.
Candidates in the Fray
Hisar Assembly seat (constituency number 52) is a litmus test for the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) as it is considered to be the home turf of Congress' Jindals. Ram Niwas Rada of the Congress, Indian National Lok Dal’s (INLD’s) Pramod and Jannayak Janata Party’s (JJP’s) Jitendra Sheoran and Manju of the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) are taking on Dr Kamal Gupta of the BJP. The saffron party has fielded Gupta from the seat for the fourth term. But the road ahead does not appear to be easy for the BJP as it is facing a tough battle in Jat-dominated belts.
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Though the party is tipped to win the election, yet denial of tickets to its several leaders is creating roadblocks. Ex-Congress state unit chief Ashol Tanwar quitting his party will definitely help the BJP, but the ride to power is not without hurdles due to the JJP and INLD.
In the 2001 and 2005 Assembly elections, Congress’ Om Prakash Jindal defeated independent candidate Hari Singh Saini both times. Congress' Savitri Jindal, wife of the late Om Prakash Jindal, contested and won the elections from Hisar in 2009 Assembly election. However, the grand-old party lost the seat to BJP's Dr Kamal Gupta, who defeated Savitri Jindal by a margin of about 14,000 votes in 2014.
The total number of voters here, according to the Election Commission, stands at 1,62,068, comprising 85,863 male, 76,203 female and two third gender voters.
Kuldeep Bishnoi of the Congress is also a strong candidate against Tik Tok star and BJP candidate Sonali Phogat in Hisar district's Adampur Assembly constituency. Bishnoi is contesting from here for the third time. The constituency is considered to be his stronghold.
Rajesh Godara of the INLD, Ramesh Kumar of the JJP and BSP's Satbir, too, are trying their luck on the seat. In the 2014 election, Bishnoi had defeated Kulbir Beniwal of the INLD by 17,249 votes.
The BJP has fielded Asha Khedar from Uklana seat of Hisar district to take on Naresh Selwal, who filed nomination as independent candidate after he was denied a ticket by the Congress party. There appears to be a direct fight between the two leaders. Bala Devi (Congress), Lalita (INLD), Manjit (Aam Aadmi Party) and Anup (JJP) are also contesting from here. At present, the seat is in the coffer of the INLD, whose Anup had defeated the BJP candidate Sima Gaibipur by a margin of 17,927 votes.
Well-known BJP nominee Captain Abhimanyu is facing a direct fight with Raj Kumar Gautam of the JJP in Narnaud Assembly constituency in Hisar district. Baljit Sihag of Congress and Jasbir of INLD are also in the fray.
Abhimanyu had defeated Raj Singh Mor by 5,761 votes in the 2014 elections.
On Hansi seat in Hisar district, Om Prakash Panchal of the Congress appears to be giving a tough fight to Vinod Bhawana of the BJP. Rahul Makkad of the JJP, Kulveer of the INLD, Manoj Rathi of the AAP and Surendra of the BSP are also contesting from here.
Renuka Bishnoi of the Haryana Janhit Congress, a political party formed by former and longest serving Chief Minister Bhajan Lal, had defeated Umed Lohan of the INLD in the 2014 election by 14,452 votes.
In Barwala, BJP's Surendra Puniya is in direct contest with Bhupendra Gangwa of the Congress. INLD has fielded Ravindra Khokha and JJP Jogiram. The seat also has an independent candidate Ram Niwas Gorela who was denied the Congress ticket.
INLD's Ved Narang had defeated BJP's Surendra Puniya in the 2014 election by 10,261 votes.
In Nalwa constituency, Congress (Randhir Panihar) and BJP (Ranveer Gangwa) are face-to-face, though JJP's Virendra Choudhary, INLD's Satpal Kajla and BSP's Bajrang are also contesting for this seat.
Gangwa is contesting for the second time after defecting from INLD. Randeep, who belongs to the Kuldeep Bishnoi faction of the Congress, is fighting the polls for the first time.
In the 2014 election, Gangwa as the INLD candidate had defeated Chandra Mohan Hajka by 7,115 votes.
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