In a dramatic late night press conference on Friday, Union Minister Amit Shah announced that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Jannayak Janta Party (JJP) will form the next Haryana government. Shah, flanked by incumbent chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar and JJP chief Dushyant Chautala, said the the new chief minister will be from the BJP and the deputy chief minister will be from the JJP.
BJP-JJP alliance for Haryana sealed. CM will be from Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Deputy CM from Jannayak Janta Party (JJP). Leaders of both the parties will meet the Governor tomorrow and stake their claim to form the govt in the state. #HaryanaAssemblyPolls pic.twitter.com/euvuQVtwJB
— ANI (@ANI) October 25, 2019
Shah further stated that leaders from both the parties will meet Governor Satyadev Narayan Arya on Saturday and stake their claim to form the next government in the state. There was no official announcement on the swearing-in ceremony. JJP chief Dushyant Chautala, whose party won 10 seats in the 90-member Assembly, speaking at the press conference held after the meeting with Shah, said it is important for the BJP and JJP to come together to give a stable government to Haryana.
Chautala said, "To give a stable government to Haryana it was important for BJP and JJP to come together. I would like to thank Amit Shah ji and Nadda ji.Our party had decided that for the betterment of the state it is important to have a stable government."
— ANI (@ANI) October 25, 2019
Chautala, whose JJP was formed only 10 months ago and contested an Assembly election for the first time, is playing the role of kingmaker.
Deal sealed after day-long negotiations
The announcement came after a long day of back and forth between the two parties. Chautala, Union minister Anurag Thakur, BJP working president JP Nadda, BJP leaders BL Santosh and Subhash Barala all met at Shah's residence on Friday evening.
The JJP had earlier demanded the deputy chief minister's post for Chautala and two ministerial berths in the Haryana cabinet. Earlier Friday, Chautala said he will support any party which agrees to a common minimum programme, adding that "neither the BJP or the Congress is untouchable for me". "For a stable government, the key still lies with the JJP," he added.
Dushyant Chautala, Jannayak Janta Party (JJP): Taking all these into consideration we have decided that we will stand with somebody strong and stable. We can support anybody. We are yet to talk to any of the parties. https://t.co/6WkrkJpxUE
— ANI (@ANI) October 25, 2019
Congress Haryana chief and former chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda, responding to Chautala's comments, said, "Dushyant ji stated a few points in his press conference. As far as the Common Minimum Programme is concerned, it's already provided in our manifesto, be it old age pension or 75 percent reservation for Haryanvis. If he has other suggestions, we're open to that. Now it's up to him."
Chautala, in a legislative party meet held Friday, said the JJP has emerged as the largest regional party with over 15 percent vote share.
"The party which will agree to our Common Minimum Program under which we had taken the resolution of 75 percent jobs reservation for Haryanvis and that of Chaudhary Devi Lal's idea of old age pension, JJP will give its support to that party. Our national executive discussed the issue of lending support for government formation. We spoke about the future course of action and consulted Ajay Chautala about the same," Chautala said.
"We will support those who share the same vision with us. We are committed to taking Haryana forward," he further added.
The Gopal Kanda storm
The BJP, earlier six seats short of a majority, were offered backing from Haryana Lokhit Party chief Gopal Kanda who claimed to have the support of five Independents, which caused a firestorm. Kanda, a controversial politician, told reporters that he and all independent candidates “decided” to extend unconditional support to the Bharatiya Janata Party. In Delhi a BJP leader said five independent MLAs met the party's working president JP Nadda.
The apparent BJP move to accept Kanda's support was slammed by the opposition Congress and BJP leader Uma Bharti, who recalled the row in which the politician was involved when he was a minister in Haryana's Congress government in 2012. In a series of tweets, the former Union minister cautioned her party that this could hurt the clean image enjoyed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar.
Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala accused the BJP of doublespeak. "I think you should look at the statements made by Narendra Modi and Amit Shah at the time when Gopal Kanda was a minister in the government in Haryana, when we forced him to resign after registration of a case and also removed him from ministership,” he told reporters in Delhi.
Priyanka Gandhi Vadra took to Twitter to urge women to boycott the BJP and its leaders:
First Kuldip Sengar, then Nityanand, now Gopal Kanda....every self respecting Indian woman should boycott the BJP and its leaders if they EVER dare to speak of respecting women again.#SayNoToKanda
— Priyanka Gandhi Vadra (@priyankagandhi) October 25, 2019
The Aam Aadmi Party slammed the BJP, saying the saffron party is aligning with a rape accused in a state where it launched the 'Beti Bachao Beti Padhao' scheme. Senior AAP senior leader and Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Singh said,"In a state where 'Beti bachao beti padhao (BBBP) andolan' was launched, the BJP is seeking support from a rape accused."
Top BJP leaders moved swiftly since Thursday night to cobble together a majority in the 90-member Haryana Assembly after the party's tally fell to 40 in the state, six short of the majority mark. The BJP's decision to win over Chautala underlines its quest to placate Jats, a dominant community in the state and who are believed to have voted mostly against the saffron party in the recent polls, to ensure a smooth run of its government. In the October 21 Assembly poll results, the Congress won 31 of the 90 seats and the BJP bagged 40 seats.
With inputs from PTI
Updated Date: Nov 07, 2019 02:32:33 IST