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Chautala brothers summon separate party meetings, INLD rift widens

Chandigarh: The rift in the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) widened further on Friday as its president Om Prakash Chautala's son Ajay Singh Chautala kept away from a meeting called by his younger brother Abhay Singh Chautala, summoning instead one of his own on November 17.

File photo of Om Prakash Chautala

Ajay Singh Chautala said the working committee meeting in Jind will decide to whom the INLD belonged.
The Haryana-based party has been staring at a split after Om Prakash Chautala expelled his grandsons Dushyant Chautala and Digvijay Chautala from its primary membership for indiscipline.
The two are the sons of Ajay Singh Chautala, who is serving a 10-year jail sentence with his father Om Prakash Chautala for a teacher recruitment scam.
He is currently on a two-week parole.
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Abhay Chautala had summoned an "emergent meeting" of the party at Sirsa on Friday to discuss the INLD's agitation from December 1, seeking the completion of the Sutlej Yamuna Link (SYL) canal.
However, the meeting was also being seen as an attempt by him to keep his flock together.
Ajay Chautala, his wife and MLA Naina Chautala, Dushyant Chautala and Digvijay Chautala were among those who kept away.
Abhay Chautala played down the development. "There is no dispute in the family," he said.
"I wanted to meet Ajay on Friday morning, but he had left Sirsa. There are no differences in the family," he stated.
Meanwhile, in Hansi, Ajay Chautala said an INLD working committee meeting will be held in Jind.
Asked about Abhay Chautala's meeting in Sirsa, the elder brother said, "The INLD belongs to the workers and not to the individuals."
"The working committee meeting of the INLD on November 17 will decide to whom the party belongs," he said.
The INLD has 18 MLAs in the 90-member Haryana Assembly.
"Ninety per cent of INLD MLAs and MPs attended the meeting," Abhay Chautala claimed.
"The party is strong, some Congressmen want to weaken the INLD," he said.
The power struggle in the Chautala family started after Om Prakash Chautala expelled youth leaders Dushyant Chautala and Digvijay Chautala from the party for "indiscipline" during a rally last month.
Ajay Chautala's supporters had shouted slogans in favour of Dushyant Chautala when uncle Abhay Chautala was to speak.
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