History of modern Haryana after independence

History of modern Haryana after independence

The First General Election held in free India in 1952, marked the beginning of second phase. The members who were elected members of the Punjab Legislative Council in 1946 continued after independence till 1952. In this election the Congress contested 59 seats out of 61 seats in Haryana region which then consisted of the districts of Ambala, Kamal, Jind, Rohtak, Gurgaon, Mahendergarh and Hissar. It won 51 seats securing 40.1 percent of total votes. Jan Sangh, the newly formed party contested 25 seats but could win only 2 seats, The Zamindara Party was the strongest party in this region in the pre-independence era. Though this time it got 16.8 percent votes. Kisan Majdoor Praja Party contested for one seat and won the same. Akali Dal also contested two seats and won one seat. 27 candidates of Socialist Party were in the field and even though none of its candidate could win a seat. Communist Party of India and the depressed classes league each contested for only one seat. The candidate of each party lost its security deposits. The Independents won rest of four seats by securing 29.6 percentage of votes.

The Second General Election was held in 1957. At this time the election was distinct in many ways from the previous election. It was marked by a clear decrease in the number of seats, the contesting candidates, the independents, the number of political parties and the number of those who lost deposits.

new entrant Scheduled Caste Federation won 4 seats. However, it secured only 5.3% votes. Another political party, Praja Socialist Party, that entered the election arena for the first time contested 9 seats but could not secure even a single seat. It secured 1.8% votes. The independent candidates fared better. Though there were 102 candidates and they secured 6 seats (10.9%) in comparison to 4 seats (7.3%) in earlier election by securing 28.3% vote.

The first election of the Haryana Legislative Assembly was held in 1967. In this election, the Indian National Congress won 48 seats by securing 41.33% votes. It was followed by the Bhartiya Jan Sangh that won 12 seats by securing 14.39% votes. The other successful political parties in descending order were Swatantra Party and Republic Party of India. They secured 3 seats by securing 3.18% of votes and 2 seats by securing 2.90% of votes. However, CPI, CPM PSP and SSP and other parties in electiop. arena could not win any seat.

The next year i.e. in 1968 the mid-tenn election for Haryana Legislative Assembly was held. Though the Congt:ess party maintained its position by winning 48 seats, Bhartiya Jan Sangh had to suffer a setback. It could win only 7 seats whereas it has won 12 seats in the previous election. The newly formed VHP got 16 seats in this election. The other successful political parties BKD, RPI and Swatantra Party won 1, 1 and 2 seats respectively. The independents got a setback because this time they could win only 5 seats as against 16 seats in the previous election.

Next time in 1972 Haryana went to poll under the Chief Ministership of Bansi Lal who gave Haryana stability of the government. This election was significant in a number of ways. Firstly, Congress this time improved its position. It won 52 seats by securing 46.91% votes. Secondly, the Congress (0), the party formed after the split in 1969, succeeded in winning 12 seats by securing 10.80% votes. Thirdly, the Jan Sangh and VHP got set back and could win only 2 and 3 seats by securing 6.55% and 6.94% votes respectively. Other successful party was Akhil Bhartiya Arya Sabha (BAS) which captured only 1 seat and got 2.21% votes. However, the position of independents improved as they won 11 seats and secured 23.57% votes.

In the 1972 elections the Congress and the Independents improved their position by securing more seats and higher percentage of votes as compared to the mid-term poll. The Congress won 52 seats and polled 46.9% votes as against 48 seats won the mid-term poll with 43.8% of votes.

The Congress won more seats and a higher percentage of votes in each of the seven districts than any other political party. The margin by which the Congress candidates defeated the opposition candidates was higher than that with which the opposition had been able to defeat the Congress in some of the constituencies. The Congress made gains both in terms of seats and percentage of votes in Hissar, Ambala, Gurgaon and Mahendergarh districts where the impact of economic development was clearly perceptible, but it suffered reduction in seats as well as in percentage of votes in Jind and Rohtak districts.

The most crucial election for the Congress party in Haryana was held in June 1977. In this election, the Congress had to face a miserable defeat. It could win only 3 seats. However, it secured 17.15% votes. As many as 38 candidates of this party lost their deposits, the newly formed Janata Party won 75 seats by securing 46.70% votes. Three of its candidates lost their deposits. The only other successful party was the VHP which won 5 seats by securing 5.96% votes and 19 of its candidate lost deposits. So far the independents were concerned, they got 7 seats and secured 29.03% votes.

During the Assembly Elections, there still persisted a lurking fear of the re-emergence of the old caucus headed by Bansi Lal. It was out of this fear that the people voted against the Congress party. The development programmes were not widely dispersed over the entire segment of the population. In short, the Congress leadership in Haryana had lost touch with the grass root base of politics. Even the factional fights with in the Janata Party did not help the Congress. The urban and rural poor, particularly the scheduled castes and backward castes who had moved away from the Congress, in this election, eroded the support base of the party.

The 1977 Lok Sabha Elections witnessed a significant and exceptional turn in the support base of the Congress Party in Haryana. Its support base had been seriously eroded expect in Bhiwani Lok Sabha constituency where the local . influence of its candidate, Bansi lal, partially countered this dominant adverse trend. This steep decline was due more to national factors; local factors only served to aggravate this countrywide trend.

Water dispute between Punjab and Haryana after independence

Punjab has been riddled with water conflicts for the past many years. The dispute has been going on for a long period of time. It is not because adequate legal and constitutional provisions are not available, but because of the fact that the issue has been caught in politics. Politics and water distribution have been intimately linked in this region. Moreover, the establishment of tribunals, the awards, notifications by centre and references to Supreme Court to settle the dispute leading to excessive delays has further worsened the matter. The dispute has become so politicised thc;tt it has become an emotional issue. Also, in the division of Punjab in 1947 at the time of India’s partition and again in 1966, when Punjab and Haryana emerged out of erstwhile Punjab state, lies the root of the conflict. The water intensive agriculture leading to the demand for more and more water has only added fuel to the fire.

The dispute is mainly between Punjab and Haryana though Rajasthan and Himachal Pradesh are also involved. The dispute is of two types:

  • Dispute regarding the allocation of water
  • Dispute over SYL canal

The conflict regarding water allocation is about Ravi – Beas waters, over the quantity of water available and to be allocated and over the just share of each state in which Rajasthan has been inducted by virtue of it having acquired a foot hold in I 955.  The question here is whether the states of Haryana, Rajasthan, Jammu & Kashmir, New Delhi and Punjab should continue getting the allocated share of water. Do they deserve this share or should they be denied this share or the quantity of water should be reduced? These questions demand attention due to the plea put forward by· Punjab which claims all the waters by virtue ofbeing a riparian state. Punjab does not want to spare water to other states particularly to Haryana.

The other dispute is regarding the construction of Sutlej Yamuna Link (SYL) canal, which was proposed to be constructed to enable Haryana to make full use of its share of water allocated to it. This canal is supposed to bring Beas, Ravi and Sutlej river waters from Punjab to Haryana The source of water for SYL canal is the Bhakra dam. The canal starts from the tail end of Anandpur Hyde! canal near Nanga! and goes up to ·the western Yamuna canal from where it collects waters of Ravi and Beas? This canal has been a bone of contention among Punjab and Haryana. Punjab does not want to spare water to Haryana, which the canal is supposed to carry. It argues that being a riparian state, as rivers Ravi, Beas and Sutlej flow through it, it has all the rights to use the river waters and to decide how much is to be allocated to other states. On the other hand, Haryana put forward the argument that it was part of Punjab before 1966 and therefore it has rights over river waters being a co-riparian. These arguments show the complicated nature of the dispute.


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