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Senior INLD leader quits party in Haryana

One of the senior-most leaders of the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) in Haryana, Sampat Singh Tuesday quit the party citing differences over the way it was being run by the family of former chief minister Om Prakash Chautala.

Sampat Singh, a former finance minister in the Chautala government and a Jat leader, said that he was quitting due to the “commercialisation of the INLD”.

He announced his decision to quit the party, which he joined at the behest of former deputy prime minister Devi Lal, before the media here.

“Devi Lal had brought me into the party. But I am not happy with the way things are now in the INLD,” he said.

He did not confirm whether he would join the ruling Congress even though speculation is rife in political circles that he is likely to do so.

“I will call a meeting of my supporters and workers to decide on the next course of action,” Singh said.

Singh had lost the election for the Hisar Lok Sabha seat by a narrow margin of 7,000 votes to former chief minister and Haryana Janhit Congress leader Bhajan Lal in May.

The ruling Congress, which won nine of the 10 Lok Sabha seats from haryana, had trailed in the third position in Hisar.

Singh had earlier offered to resign as an office-bearer of the party after his defeat but that was rejected by Chautala.

The INLD, which ruled Haryana from 1999-2005, was trounced in the February 2005 assembly polls. It returned with only nine seats in the 90-member assembly. Chautala, who contested from two seats, lost in the Narwana constituency.

In May general elections this year, the INLD could manage to lead only in seven assembly seats while its alliance partner, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), led in seven other assembly segments.

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