September 17, 2020 10:07:06 am
A fresh rebellion seems to be brewing in the Jannayak Janta Party (JJP), the alliance partner in the ruling coalition in Haryana, with another party legislator Devender Babli demanding change in the party leadership claiming that “there was dissatisfaction among most of the party’s 10 MLAs”.
Babli is the second JJP MLA after another MLA Ram Kumar Gautam who has expressed dissatisfaction against the leadership of Dushyant Chautala, who is also the deputy chief minister.
Gautam and Babli were hopeful of getting Cabinet berths in the alliance government but did not get any assignment. Babli told The Indian Express Wednesday that it was wrong on the Dushyant’s part to keep all the departments with him. “Dushyant should have inducted all ministers of JJP quota the day he took oath as Deputy CM. Even chairmen of different boards should have been appointed from within the party MLAs. Why it did not happen?” asked Babli, claiming that the dissatisfied MLAs were in his touch.
In the last week of December 2019, almost two months after formation of BJP-JJP government in Haryana, the junior alliance partner suffered its first setback when Gautam resigned from the post of party’s national vice president. Like Babli, Gautam’s main grouse is also that Dushyant has kept most of the portfolios including industry, excise and taxation, PWD (B&R), revenue and food from the quota of JJP while leaving a low profile ministry for two-time MLA Anoop Dhanak. One more minister can be inducted in the Cabinet from the JJP’s quota but the party has preferred to keep the seat vacant for the time being.
Asked whether it was not a revolt to seek change in the leadership, Babli said, “How is it a revolt. Isn’t it a failure of the head of the house, if he is unable to take care of the house? We elected Dushyant as leader of our legislative party. Should others not be given ministership? Seven of the 10 MLAs had their own base. If Dushyant has influence across the state why did not the party win 55-60 seats?”
Babli had defeated the then BJP president Subhash Barala from Tohana in October 2019 Assembly polls.
When asked, JJP state secretary Randhir Singh said the members should remain in discipline. “If they have any constituency specific grievances then the same can be raised before the proposed coordination committee of BJP-JJP,” he said.
Sources close to Dushyant termed Babli’s comments as part of “pressure politics to get a ministerial berth”.
Meanwhile, Babli also claimed that there was a threat to his life. “But I am from the family of a freedom fighter, and I am not afraid. My grandfather Captain Umrao Singh had helped Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose in raising the Azad Hind Fauj,” he added.
Babli alleged that his constituency Tohana was being neglected in the development works at the behest of a politician, whom he termed as a “dacoit”. Babli’s comments come just a day after three JJP MLAs – Gautam, Ram Niwas (Narwana) and Babli himself – were seen sitting with BJP MLAs at the official residence of Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar. However, its not first time when Babli has spoken against the alliance government of BJP-JJP.
About one and a half months back, Babli had called the state electricity department the most “corrupt department” blaming its officers for running a “gunda raj” (rule of goons) in Haryana. In January, Babli had called the ruling dispensation in Haryana as “the most corrupt” claiming that he was “ashamed” at being part of this government where “nobody is bothered about people” and under which the police officers are nothing but “vardi vaale gunde (hooligans in uniform)”.
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