With Haryana facing the prospects of a hung assembly, Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) chief Om Prakash Chautala on Thursday said the Governor should invite the opposition parties first and give them an opportunity to form the government.

“We appeal to the Governor to invite the opposition parties first, which have emerged as the largest group. Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda should immediately step down on moral grounds and Congress should not stake its claim to form the government,” the former Chief Minister told reporters.

Citing a precedent, he said, “Congress was single largest party in 1989 Lok Sabha polls, but it did not stake its claim to form the Government then.”

“The Congress under (late Prime Minister) Rajiv Gandhi did not stake claim then and now also when they have not got the clear mandate, they should follow Rajiv’s footsteps and not stake claim,” he said.

Despite BJP snapping ties with it shortly before the polls, Mr. Chautala said he still has good friends in that party and would not hesitate to approach them.

“It is not the political relations that I have with the BJP, I have personal relations with Atal Bihari Vajpayee, L.K. Advani and BJP chief Rajnath Singh. We will talk to the BJP,” Mr. Chautala said indicating he was not averse to seeking their support.

INLD, which has won 25 of the 71 seats declared and was ahead in six other places, has greatly improved over its performance of nine seats in 2005 assembly elections and failure to open its account in Lok Sabha polls.

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