By: Liz Mathew
The BJP on Thursday decided to go it alone in the Haryana Assembly elections, hours after Kuldeep Bishnoi-led Haryana Janhit Congress announced to snap its three-year-old alliance with the saffron party.
Banking on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “wide acceptance” across all castes in the state, the party also decided not to name its chief ministerial candidate in a bid to tap votes from all sections of the society. “We will fight elections in Haryana alone,” party spokesperson Shahnawaz Hussain said.
With BJP, which had secured more than 34 per cent votes in the Lok Sabha elections, going solo, the elections to the 90-member Assembly would be a four-cornered contest between ruling Congress, Indian National Lok Dal, BJP and HJC. As Congress facing anti-incumbency factor, the BJP feels its main challenge would be from INLD.
“The people of Haryana has supported BJP in seven of the eight seats it contested in the LS polls… There is a wave for change. Witnessing the kind of pro-development government at the Centre, the people of Haryana want BJP to form government there. The BJP has always respected people’s will,” Hussain said.
He also accused Bishnoi of being the B-team of Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda and ridiculed his “delusion” of becoming the CM. “We wanted him (Bishnoi) to understand ground realities. Any understanding is rooted in the facts on ground. He has left us as the B-team of Congress. He had six MLAs, and all of them except him joined Congress. He is a general without an army. We have never betrayed any ally,” Hussain said.
Arguing that a large section of people cutting across castes and groups have voted for the party in the LS polls, BJP leaders said the party did not want to project Bishnoi, a non-Jat leader, as CM candidate. The party is now eyeing Jat votes apart from consolidating Brahmins, Baniyas and the other backward classes.