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Explained: How the farmers’ protest impacted the Haryana civic polls

What’s the message of poll results for BJP-JJP alliance? What do the results mean for Dushyant Chautala? How have farmers agitation impacted polls in urban areas? What’s the message for Congress?

Written by Sukhbir Siwach | Chandigarh | Updated: January 6, 2021 8:35:53 am
Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar with his Deputy Dushyant Chautala. (File Photo)

The ongoing farmer agitation has now started having a political impact even on urban areas of Haryana. The Indian Express explains what effect the agitation has had on civic body polls.

What’s the message of poll results for BJP-JJP alliance?

It was a setback for the ruling BJP-JJP alliance as it failed to perform impressively in urban areas. In Haryana, the saffron party has influence predominantly in urban areas. Even then, its mayoral candidates lost the poll battle in Sonipat and Ambala. In Panchkula too, it could win the mayoral poll by a narrow margin. This has happened despite the fact that the ruling party almost always has an advantage of being in power during the civic body polls.

What do the results mean for Dushyant Chautala?

In alliance with BJP, Deputy Chief Minister Dushyant Chautala’s JJP had fielded presidential candidates for Uklana and Dharuhera municipal councils, but lost both. Not only this, most of its candidates lost the poll battle for ward elections too. “The JJP now appears to be turning a liability for us,” said a senior BJP leader, requesting anonymity. Dushyant has faced the farmers’ wrath for not “siding them like Harsimrat Kaur Badal who had reigned from the Union Cabinet in their support”.

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How have farmers agitation impacted polls in urban areas?

A considerable number of people including employees living in Haryana’s urban areas originally belong to farming communities. Furthermore, the widespread support to the farmer agitation has created an atmosphere which has pushed BJP-JJP leaders into a corner. Till now no plan of BJP including the issue of SYL canal appears working in favour of it, with a sentiment gaining ground that the corporates will grab land from farmers and prices of essential commodities will go up after implementation of three farm laws. Not only this, controversial statements by few BJP leaders on farmers too backfired. The results will force the alliance to introspect on the issue of farmers agitation. “It’s true that the results are not as good as we were expecting,” says Haryana BJP spokesperson Raman Malik.

What’s the message for Congress?

The infighting in Congress has come to the fore again. Sources say camps of senior leaders including Bhupinder Singh Hooda, Kumari Selja and Randeep Singh Surjewala did not contest the civic body elections unitedly. There is a feeling in political circles that the party could have performed well in Ambala and Panchkula, had they fought the polls unitedly. If the issues are not resolved immediately, the fighting may intensify in Congress in coming days.

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