Surjewala, Congress’ communications in-charge, had reportedly refused to contest but agreed after he was asked by Rahul Gandhi to fight the January 28 bypoll.
File photo of Congress chief spokesman Randeep Singh Surjewala.
After a round of meetings, chaired by senior Congress leader K C Venugopal and attended by top party leaders from Haryana, Rahul Gandhi took a final call on the nominee.
The Congress leaders feel Surjewala is the party’s safest and strongest candidate in the region, the sources said. In 2005, he had defeated INLD supremo Om Prakash Chautala.
Surjewala, party’s communications in-charge, had reportedly refused to contest but was asked by Gandhi himself to fight the January 28 bypoll. The tenure of the 90-member Haryana Assembly ends on November 2, 2019.
The party leaders felt that a strong candidate should be fielded as the Congress cannot afford to lose an election ahead of state assembly polls, the sources said.
The BJP had swept the recently-held municipal elections in the state.
The Election Commission had on December 31 announced that the bypoll to the Jind Assembly seat would be held on January 28 and the results will be out on January 31.
The filing of nominations began on January 3 and end on January 10. Surjewala is a sitting MLA from Haryana’s Kaithal.
The BJP’s nominee for the seat is Krishan Middha, the son of late Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) MLA Hari Chand Middha. The INLD is yet to announce its candidate.
The Jind assembly seat had fallen vacant after death of Midha in August last year. The BJP is hoping to sail through on sympathy wave in favour of its candidate.