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By-election in Ellenabad is a test of farmers' ballot power

Haryana assembly constituency Ellenabad goes to by-polls in the shadow of the farmers’ movement and is seeing a triangular contest between the BJP, Congress and Indian National Lok Dal.

October 30, 2021 / 11:09 AM IST
Pawan Beniwal quit the BJP in April 2021. He is the Congress' candidate in the Ellenabad by-election.

Pawan Beniwal quit the BJP in April 2021. He is the Congress' candidate in the Ellenabad by-election.

Ellenabad: All eyes are on the October 30 by-election in Haryana's Ellenabad constituency, which has become quite a matter of prestige for the three main political parties in the fray—the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), currently in power in the state and at the Centre, the Congress and the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD).

The biggest and most emotive issue in the election is the farmers’ agitation sparked by the passage of three contentious farm laws in late 2020. Haryana’s farmers are among those taking an active part in the movement and resentment has been brewing in the state against the BJP.

Also read: In-Depth | One year later, where are the farmers’ protests headed?

Whether the saffron party wins or loses Ellenabad will not affect Haryana’s Manohar Lal Khattar government, but the election has become a prestige issue for the BJP, and the state machinery is employing its full force to win the seat. For Congress and INLD, the by-election has become a question of survival with dignity.