Communal violence in Nuh brings the fragility of the BJP-JJP alliance in Haryana to the fore

With uncertainty over the continuance of the alliance, both partners may be attempting to consolidate their vote banks ahead of the parliamentary and Assembly polls due in 2024

Updated - September 30, 2023 12:04 pm IST

Published - August 03, 2023 09:02 pm IST - CHANDIGARH

 Wreckage of vehicles that were set ablaze by miscreants after incidents of violence following Monday’s attack on a VHP procession, in Nuh district, on Aug. 3, 2023.

Wreckage of vehicles that were set ablaze by miscreants after incidents of violence following Monday’s attack on a VHP procession, in Nuh district, on Aug. 3, 2023. | Photo Credit: PTI

Signs of a rift between the ruling alliance partners in Haryana, the Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) and the Jannayak Janta Party (JJP), have been cropping up from time to time. The recent dig by Deputy Chief Minister Dushyant Chautala over the handling of the situation surrounding the violence that began in the State’s Nuh district is yet another example of it.

Political observers feel that with uncertainty over the continuance of the alliance, both partners are attempting to consolidate their vote banks ahead of the parliamentary and Assembly polls due in 2024.

Mr. Chautala, while speaking with media persons on questions related to the officers in-charge at Nuh, said the organisers had failed to share a proper estimate of the turnout, linking it to the violence.

Communal clashes between two communities took place during the Brijmandal Jalabhishek Yatra organised by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad on July 31 in Nuh.

“The BJP-JJP alliance was not forged on any ideological ground. The JJP is a breakaway faction of the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD), which had remained an alliance partner with the BJP. Right now, both parties appear to be evaluating the pros and cons of sticking together in the run-up to the Lok Sabha elections next year. All the remarks and comments by leaders, be it JJP or BJP, are coming against the backdrop of the consolidation of their respective vote banks,” Professor Rajendra Sharma, Head, Department of Political Science, Maharishi Dayanand University, Rohtak, said.

“In case these alliance partners (BJP-JJP) decide to break away, the stances on various issues taken against each other would also come in handy during campaigning to garner voter support,” Dr. Sharma added.

After the BJP failed to secure majority in the 2019 Assembly election, it forged an alliance with the JJP to form the government in Haryana. Mr. Chautala of the JJP was made Deputy Chief Minister. 

Speculation over a rift has come up since June, when the BJP’s Haryana affairs in-charge Biplab Kumar Deb said the JJP had done no favour to the BJP by supporting it as the regional party had also joined the government. To this, Mr. Chautala had said the alliance had been formed with mutual consent.

The JJP has also announced that it’s preparing to contest all the 10 parliamentary seats in the State next year.

BJP State president O.P. Dhankar has categorically said the coalition was forged in 2019 to form the State government, and not to contest polls.

In the backdrop of the communal violence in Haryana, Pramod Kumar, Director, Institute for Development and Communication, pointed out that the violence in Nuh could not be understood in isolation from the polarisation in religious differences. “It can be compared to an earthquake, where a rift on the surface represents violence and pressure far below. The communal tension is carefully and craftily nurtured, and an immediate provocation leads to riots. The impact of violence can’t be reduced to, in this case, Haryana. It has all-India ramifications,” Dr. Kumar said.

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