Split verdict in Haryana puts 'kingmaker' Dushyant Chautala on driver seat, Khattar to stake claim to form govt
New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: The BJP and the Congress remain locked in a tense fight as both the rivals seem to be falling short of majority as the votes for the 90-seat Haryana assembly were counted on Thursday. The seemingly split verdict has led Dushyant Chautala’s Jannayak Janta Party (JJP) and Independents emerge as a kingmaker in the state.
The BJP, which had set a target of 75 seats in the 90-member assembly, failed to perform as per projections of the exit polls which predicted a comfortable victory for the saffron party, which faced challenge from the Congress and JJP.
As per the results and trends available, the BJP was leading on 40 seats emerging as the single largest party but falling short of the majority mark of 46. The Congress was leading 31 seats while the JJP, INLD and BSP were leading on 10, one and two seats respectively.
However, despite falling short of the majority mark, Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar sought Haryana governor Satyadev Narayan Arya’s time to stake claim to form government in the state. It was not clear whether when he will be meeting the Governor.
Meanwhile, media reports claimed that Dushyant Chautala is likely to extend his support to the BJP, which is six short of the majority mark. At the same time, some other reports suggested that the Congress had also approached the JJP chief to form an alliance while offering him the chief ministerial post.
Senior Congress leader and former chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda urged non-BJP outfits on Thursday to join hands. "This mandate is against the BJP. The JJP, INLD and others, including the Independents, should join hands with the Congress to keep the BJP at bay," he told reporters in Rohtak.
Asked whom would his party support in the event of a hung assembly, the JJP leader said, "It is too early to say anything. We will first summon a meeting of our MLAs, decide who would be our leader in the House and then take it further."
Taking a swipe at the BJP's 'mission' of securing 75 seats, he said they will fall way short of their target as the "people of Haryana want change".
While incumbent Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar have attained an unassailable lead of nearly 45,000 votes over his Congress rival in Karnal, three BJP minister -- Capt Abhimanyu, Kavita Jain and Krishan Kumar Bedi -- lost and a few more were trailing way behind their rivals.
State BJP chief Subhash Barala was trailing by a high margin in his Tohana constituency while Assembly Speaker Kanwar Pal was also trailing from his Jagadhri seat.
Among the sportspersons and Tik Tok star fielded by the BJP -- former Indian hockey captain Sandeep Singh won from Pehowa, but wrestler Babita Phogat lost from Dadri while Olympic medallist grappler Yogeshwar Dutt was trailing in Baroda seat in Sonipat.
Tik Tok star Sonali Phogat lost to senior Congress leader Kuldeep Bishnoi from Adampur.
Among the ministers, the saving grace for the BJP was the convincing win of its senior minister Anil Vij from Ambala Cantonment, from where he is a five-time legislator. He defeated Independent candidate Chitra Sarwara by a margin of 20,165 votes.
The BJP has failed to break the Congress stronghold — the Deswali or Jat dominated belt of the state comprising Rohtak, Jhajjar and Sonipat districts. It, however, picked up one odd seat, Rai in Sonipat.
Posted By: Abhinav Gupta