With the prospect of a lengthy standoff between farmers and the Union government looming, trouble seems to be mounting for Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar’s BJP government in Haryana.
If the agitation is prolonged, pressure is expected to increase on several Haryana MLAs, including Independents and those from the Dushyant Chautala-led JJP. It was with their support that the BJP formed the government after falling short of the majority mark by six seats in the 2019 Assembly polls.
Out of the 90 Assembly constituencies of Haryana, at least 40 are predominantly rural. JJP’s major vote bank comes from the rural belt. Deputy CM Chautala’s consistent silence ever since farmers began camping on Delhi’s borders has raised many eyebrows. With the standoff intensifying, JJP too has started giving ample hints that it would also be forced to think about its “future strategy” if the talks between farmers and union government fails.
“Our party’s senior leaders are keeping a close watch on the ongoing talks between farmers and the Union government. We shall take our next decision after the talks conclude. JJP is farmers party and will remain in favour of the farmers, till eternity”, JJP’s youth wing leader and Dushyant’s younger brother, Digvijay, had said Tuesday.
Sources in Congress told The Indian Express that several JJP and even BJP MLAs were likely to pull out of the alliance government in the state soon. Haryana’s Leader of Opposition and former CM Bhupinder Singh Hooda told The Indian Express, “Although Dushyant has not yet contacted me, but several MLAs are in touch. They will eventually have to make a choice between their chairs and farmers. Farmers are the ones who voted them to power. Now, these farmers need their elected representatives’ support. Rather than standing by their side, these people (JJP and Independent MLAs) are sticking to their chairs.
Haryana Agriculture Minister J P Dalal said: “There is no possibility of the government falling.”