Other States

‘INLD split, Congress infighting may help BJP in Haryana’

INLD chief Abhay Chautala.

INLD chief Abhay Chautala.  

Abhay Chautala-led party is no longer the principal Opposition as its MLAs have come down from 17 to 15

With the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) battling internal crisis after the split in the party and the infighting among factions within the Congress, may make going easy for the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party in the Lok Sabha poll, according to political analysts.

In the 90-member Haryana Assembly, the INLD is no more the principal opposition as the number of MLAs of the party have come down from 17 to 15. INLD MLAs Ranbir Gangwa and Kehar Singh Rawat recently submitted their resignations to Haryana Assembly Speaker Kanwan Pal Gujjar. Both the MLA’s have joined the BJP. The Congress with 17 MLAs is now the largest Opposition party in the State.

INLD leader Abhay Chautala, after resigning from the position of Leader of Opposition last week, had asked the Speaker to disqualify five MLAs of his party under the anti-defection law.

The MLAs — Naina Singh Chautala, Anoop Dhhanak, Rajdeep Phogat and Prithi Singh Nambardar — had been supporting Jannayak Janta Party (JJP), the breakaway outfit of the INLD. Mr. Kehar Rawat quit INLD two days after Abhay Chautala’s resignation.

Political analysts told The Hindu that the breaking of the INLD could split Jat votes, damaging party’s prospects and likely benefit the ruling BJP. Also, the infighting among factions within the Congress party, which has been struggling to set it’s house in order is likely to benefit opponents.

“Any division of vote is to the advantage of the party which does not have any claim on vote bank. In Haryana, Jat vote traditionally does not go with the BJP and if it gets divided it will benefit the BJP,” said Pramod Kumar, Director of the Institute for Development and Communication, Chandigarh.

Haryana is expected to witness a multi-cornered fight between the Congress, BJP, INLD and JJP. The Aam Aadmi Party has also announced to contest all the 10 Lok Sabha seats in State, which will go to polls on May 12. An alliance formed between Bahujan Samaj Party and Loktantra Suraksha Party, floated by rebel BJP leader Rajkumar Saini, however, according to political analysts could eat into the ‘non-Jat’ votes of the BJP.

In 2014 Lok Sabha poll, the BJP won seven seats followed by INLD with two and Congress retaining the sole seat of Rohtak, won by Deepender Singh Hooda, son of former Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda.

“Congress is struggling with factionalism. Party’s State unit is a divided with infighting between former Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda and party’s state president Ashok Tanwar out in the public on several occasions. The party does not have block or district committees in the State, putting the party on the backfoot in the run up to the polls,” said Ashutosh Kumar, professor of Political Science at Panjab University.

“The split in INLD and the infighting among factions within Congress, may make the going easier for BJP despite its dismal governance in the past five years,” said Mr. Ashutosh.

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Printable version | Apr 2, 2020 10:36:57 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/inld-split-congress-infighting-may-help-bjp-in-haryana/article26656721.ece

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