The Bharatiya Janata Party has entered into an electoral pact with the Haryana Janhit Congress (HJC) party led by Kuldeep Bishnoi, son of the former Haryana Chief Minister, Bhajan Lal.
The BJP will support the Janhit party's candidate for the Hissar by-election — the seat fell vacant after Bhajan Lal's death this June — party president Nitin Gadkari announced here on Saturday.
Bhajan Lal had fallen out with his parent Congress party after Bhupinder Singh Hooda was made the Chief Minister of Haryana. He set up his own regional outfit in 2007.
At a joint press conference here — Mr. Gadkari, Sushma Swaraj and Mr. Bishnoi were present — both sides said the alliance was for the long-term. Ms. Swaraj said the two parties had arrived at an understanding that in the next Lok Sabha election the HJC would contest two of the 10 Lok Sabha seats in the State, leaving eight for the BJP. In the Assembly election, the seats would be divided equally.
If the alliance were to get power in the State, the HJC would have its candidate as Chief Minister for the first two-and-a-half years and then vacate it for the BJP for the rest of the term. In the last Assembly election, the BJP fought the election alone.
Mr. Bishnoi said the BJP was a national party and his outfit was a regional one. “I hope I will be treated as a younger brother.”
The BJP celebrated the event as it was the first time in many years that it had gained a new ally.