Haryana 2019

Analysis | BJP struggling to reach majority mark in Haryana

Bhupinder Singh Hooda

Bhupinder Singh Hooda  

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Dushyant Singh Chautala could emerge as kingmaker

As TV channels kept flashing numbers on Thursday morning on the Assembly election results in Maharashtra and Haryana, some key unmistakable trends emerged in the north Indian State.

After a little over two hours of counting, the BJP was the single largest party but seems to be struggling to reach the majority mark of 46 seats; former Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda made an impressive comeback and Jananayak Janata Party (JJP) leader Dushyant Singh Chautala could emerge as a kingmaker.

 

Reports suggested that the BJP has already authorised its ally Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) to talk to the JJP, with whom the Akalis have an alliance in Haryana.

There are also reports that the JJP leader has asked for the Chief Minister’s post to support a Congress government.

While it will be a matter of negotiations before the JJP makes it decision public, it will have two issues to consider: one, Mr Chautala has a formidable challenger in Haryana and is competing for the same Jat community votes; two, an alliance with the BJP will also give him a say in Delhi politics.

If one factors that both Mr Chautala’s grandfather and former Chief Minister Om Prakash Chautala and his father Ajay Singh Chautala are in jail facing corruption charges, it could be advantage BJP.

“Let the result come in totally and we will decide. We will call a meeting of our MLAs and elect a leader and then decide. It’s too early to decide,” Mr Chautala told reporters.

For the Congress, the fighting numbers are not only welcome for the beleaguered party but also settles the ‘old versus new guard’ debate within the party.

Once in talks with the NCP’s Sharad Pawar to fight the Harayna elections on the NCP symbol after being disgruntled with the Congress, Mr Hooda made a dramatic comeback.

For almost five years since 2014, Mr Hooda was on the margins as Dalit leader Ashok Tanwar was handpicked by former Congress chief Rahul Gandhi to head the party in Haryana.

Under Mr Tanwar’s leadership, the Congress not only got wiped out in all the 10 Lok Sabha seats but lost in as many as 79 Assembly segments.

For the BJP, which fought the elections on emotive issues like diluting Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir and National Register of Citizens, voters seem to be sending a strong message that local issues as well as bread and butter issues matter to them.

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Printable version | Dec 16, 2019 1:23:00 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/elections/haryana-assembly/bjp-struggling-to-reach-majority-mark-in-haryana-assembly-election-2019/article29783752.ece

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