As Dushyant Chautala Emerges Kingmaker, Three Possibilities Open Up in Haryana
The incumbent BJP, which finished with 40 seats in the 90-member Assembly, will be hoping that Jannayak Janata Party (JJP) chief Dushyant Chautala sides with it. The JJP finished as the winner in 10 seats.
News18 Creative by Mir Suhail
New Delhi: With no clear majority in the state, Haryana threw up a hung Assembly on Thursday. The poll mandate has sprung up two possible scenarios and an unlikely third one in the state.
The incumbent BJP will be hoping that Jannayak Janata Party (JJP) chief Dushyant Chautala sides with it. The JJP finished as the winner in 10 seats, with the BJP victorious in 40. With 90 Assembly seats in the state, 46 is the majority mark. The Congress won 31 seats and Independents seven.
The BJP has been criticised as the first party in Haryana to have neglected the state’s core constituency — the Jats. The first BJP government in the state faced anti-incumbency along with resentment against a Punjabi chief minister in Manohar Lal Khattar. Most of the campaign by BJP bigwigs focused on the issue of Jammu and Kashmir losing its special status, in a state that sends the most number of personnel to the armed forces.
In another possible option, Chautala’s JJP can side with the Congress. That, however, will be a tough choice to make because the Congress's Bhupinder Singh Hooda had played a decisive role in putting behind bars Om Prakash Chautala, Dushyant Chautala’s grandfather. The JJP leader on Thursday afternoon denied reports of holding discussions with the Congress regarding the chief minister's post. According to reports, the Congress reached out to Chautala and offered him the top job.
Ignoring exit poll predictions of a landslide victory for the ruling BJP in the October 21 elections, Haryana Congress president Kumari Selja on Tuesday had insisted that her party would form the next government in the state. "I can say this with confidence that the Congress party is going to form the next government in Haryana," she said, adding that the Congress would win more than 45 of the state's 90 Assembly seats.
In what seems highly unlikely, but is a possible third option, Independent contestants and smaller outfits can play a role in deciding which party forms the government in the state. In a sign of hectic discussions ahead, a BJP MP on Thursday night flew down to Delhi a former Haryana minister and an Independent candidate who registered a victory in the polls.
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