Dushyant Chautala's Jannayak Janata Party (JJP), with the "key" as its poll symbol, made an impressive debut today in Haryana, less than a year after its launch.
As the BJP fell short of a majority and the Congress put up a fight, 31-year-old Dushyant Chautala declared: "I believe the keys are in the hands of the JJP."
He told reporters: "It is clear that people have voted for change. The Haryana assembly will be opened with JJP keys...To think people used to call us a party of children."
He remains non-committal on who he will support if Haryana ends up with a fractured verdict.
"The decision is not for Dushyant Chautala to make. There will be a national executive, a legislative party leader will be chosen...such decisions will be taken then," Mr Chautala said.
A business administration graduate from California State University, Mr Chautala split from the INLD (Indian National Lok Dal) last year after a vertical split in the party and the Chautala family.
Dushyant Chautala's father Ajay Chautala, is the older son of four-time Chief Minister and INLD President Om Prakash Chautala.
Fighting the election on a single plank - "Moochh ki shaan (Jat respect)" -- Chautala junior set himself up as a young Jat alternative the BJP to 65-year-old Chief Minister ML Khattar.
The INLD, which last ruled Haryana from 2000 to 2004, and was the main opposition party in the outgoing government, split over a feud between the brothers Ajay and Abhay Chautala. Their father remained with his younger son.
The INLD has ended up with just one seat, that of Abhay Chautala.
Dushyant Chautala campaigned along with his great-grandfather Devi Lal, a former Deputy Prime Minister.
The INLD relied more on its patriarch Om Prakash Chautala, who is serving a 10-year jail term in Tihar for his involvement in a teacher recruitment scam.
Dushyant Chautala fought on JJP's symbol in the Lok Sabha polls earlier this year but finished second.
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