The strength of the Haryana Janhit Congress(HJC), floated by former Chief Minister Bhajan Lal, has been reduced to one in the 90-member Haryana Vidhan Sabha after its fifth MLA also formally joined the Congress on Tuesday.
It may be recalled that the HJC had split on Monday after four MLAs had met Vidhan Sabha Speaker H. S. Chatha and announced their merger with the Congress.
Interestingly, Bhajan Lal's son and HJC chief Kuldeep Bishnoi is now the lone HJC MLA in the House. With this development, the numerical strength of the Congress has gone up to 45.
HJC MLA from Samalakha Dharam Singh Chhoker on Tuesday met Mr. Chatha along with Haryana Congress unit chief Phool Chand Mullana and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Randeep Singh Surjewala in the Vidhan Sabha here and submitted that he be treated as part of the block of four HJC MLAs who had split the party on Monday and merged with the Congress.
Mr. Chhoker added that since he could not come to Chandigarh on Monday along with the other MLAs, he had faxed a letter to the Speaker endorsing the move by his fellow partymen to split the HJC and merge with the Congress.
Mr. Chatha later told media persons that he had ascertained the views of the MLA and accepted his request for being included in the group of four MLAs who had split the HJC on Monday. He further said that he had received the fax from the MLA on Monday and he had now physically verified the claim.
Meanwhile, Mr. Bishnoi in a statement demanded that the five HJC MLAs who had “defected” to the Congress for “selfish gains” should be disqualified and they should seek re-election from their respective constituencies. He also apologized to the electorate for having fielded these candidates on his party ticket.