Dushyant Chautala’s Jannayak Janta Party offers to back Congress against BJP in Haryana

Now, Congress must decide if it will bring down the BJP government says Dushyant Chautala; Bhupinder Singh Hooda says JJP must write to the Governor about withdrawing support for the BJP

Updated - May 08, 2024 09:54 pm IST

Published - May 08, 2024 01:58 pm IST - Gurugram

Independent MLAs Sombir Sangwan (Dadri), Randhir Singh Gollen (Pundri), and Dharampal Gonder (Nilokheri) address the media on extending support to the Congress, on May 7, 2024.

Independent MLAs Sombir Sangwan (Dadri), Randhir Singh Gollen (Pundri), and Dharampal Gonder (Nilokheri) address the media on extending support to the Congress, on May 7, 2024. | Photo Credit: ANI

Amidst a deepening political crisis in Haryana after three Independent MLAs withdrew support to the Bharatiya Janata Party government in the State, the Jannayak Janta Party leader and former Deputy Chief Minister Dushyant Chautala on May 8 offered to “consider” outside support to the Congress to bring down the government.

The JJP was a partner in the BJP-led alliance government in Haryana for more than four years before the two parted ways in March due to differences over seat-sharing for the Lok Sabha election. At a press conference in Hisar, Mr. Chautala categorically said that his party would “consider” offering outside support to the Congress if it made any efforts to topple the government during the ongoing Lok Sabha election. “It’s now for the Congress to decide whether it takes any step to bring down the government or not,” Mr. Chautala said.

Responding to the offer, senior Congress leader and two-time Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda said that the JJP must write to the Governor saying that it is not supporting the BJP. “Soon our delegation will call upon the Haryana Governor, seeking imposition of President’s Rule and fresh elections to the State assembly,” Mr. Hooda said.

JJP rebels

Regarding the fact that three of the JJP’s 10 MLAs have been seen at the BJP’s election rallies, Mr. Chautala said that show-cause notices had been served to them, but no replies were received so far. He added that the party had evidence against them in the form of videos, posters and pictures for indulging in anti-party activities.

Mr. Chautala, however, added that they were bound to abide by the party’s whip in case a no-confidence motion was brought against the present government. He said that his party would vote against the government in that case.

The former Hisar Lok Sabha MP also demanded that Chief Minister Nayab Saini resign on moral grounds after his government was reduced to a “minority”, or prove his majority. Mr. Chautala added that his party would also write to the Governor seeking directions to the BJP government to prove its majority on the floor of the House.

Also read | After three independent MLAs withdraw support, former CM Manohar Lal Khattar says ‘Lotus will bloom in Haryana’

Seat calculus

The effective strength of the 90-member Haryana Assembly stands at 88 after former Chief Minister Manohar Lal and Independent MLA Ranjit Chautala resigned from the Karnal and Rania Assembly seats over the past few weeks for different reasons. This has brought the majority mark down to 45 MLAs.

After the withdrawal of support by three Independent MLAs – Sombir Sangwan (Dadri), Randhir Singh Golan (Pundri), and Dharampal Gonder (Nilokheri) – the BJP government now has the support of only 43 MLAs, including two Independents and the Haryana Lokhit Party’s lone MLA Gopal Kanda. The BJP itself has 40 MLAs at present, with the byelection for the Karnal Assembly seat slated for May 25.

‘Full strength’

Mr. Saini rubbished the Opposition’s claim of his government being reduced to a “minority”, insisting that the BJP government was “safe” and “functioning with full strength”. He accused the Congress of trying to mislead people and creating a misconception about the stability of the government. “The people of the State are not going to fulfil the wishes of the Congress since the Congress believes in corruption. On the other hand, [Prime Minister Narendra] Modi and the BJP believe in development,” Mr. Saini told journalists in Haryana’s Jind on the sidelines of a rally in support of the party’s Sirsa candidate Ashok Tanwar.

The CM also accused the Congress of luring the three Independent MLAs, saying that he had met them four days ago and they were good people, but were somehow coaxed into withdrawing their support.

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