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Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Now, Selja says several BJP-JJP MLAs, Independents in touch

“If the situation arises...there cannot be a vacuum. Isn't it? If a situation arises, whatever needs to be done, will be done,” Selja replied when asked specifically if Congress is aiming to topple the BJP-JJP government in Haryana.

Written by Varinder Bhatia | Chandigarh | Updated: January 14, 2021 9:24:23 pm
Presumptions: Kumari Selja on Hooda analysis of party’s poll results in HaryanaCongress president Kumari Selja

Several legislators from the ruling BJP-JJP alliance in Haryana and some Independent MLAs are in touch with the Congress, state party chief Kumari Selja Thursday said adding “whatever the Constitution permits, we will act according to the situation”.

“It is right that several MLAs, be it from the BJP, JJP or the Independents — they had been talking to each other and of course with the Congress party too. Considering the circumstances that have emerged in the farmer and agriculture dominated region of Haryana where almost all the MLAs are connected with the rural belt, several of them are understanding the ground situation. They are in touch. It is a democratic set up. Whenever a situation arises, whatever the Constitution permits, we will act accordingly. We will definitely try to fill in the space when a situation of vacuum arises in the state,” Selja told the Indian Express.

The HPCC president further added, “They (MLAs) are unhappy and it is the right time they listened to their conscience”.

Selja’s is the second top leader from Haryana Congress to hint that several lawmakers from the ruling alliance, unhappy with the stance taken by the BJP and JJP over the central agri laws, are ready to switch over. Leader of Opposition and former chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda had earlier claimed as much. The Opposition party has already written to Governor SN Arya requesting him to use his constitutional powers to call an emergency session of the Vidhan Sabha to discuss the situation that has arisen after Centre enacted the agri laws. Hooda has said that he will move a no confidence motion on the first day of the Assembly session, whenever the House is convened.

This is, however, the first time when the Opposition party has clearly hinted that it will seek to form the government as and situation arises with the help of such MLAs.

“If the situation arises…there cannot be a vacuum. Isn’t it? If a situation arises, whatever needs to be done, will be done,” Selja replied when asked specifically if Congress is aiming to topple the BJP-JJP government in Haryana.

On the back-to-back meetings of Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar and Deputy CM Dushyant Chautala with Union Home Minister Amit Shah and then the JJP leader’s meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Selja said, “It is all due to the public ire that they are facing these days. They are seeing that people have turned against them.”

Talking about the recent incident where farmers did not let Khattar hold an awareness event on the agri laws at a village in Karnal, the Congress leader said, “They had converted the entire area into a cantonment with thousands of police personnel deployed. Yet, such a situation arose. Despite lnowing that the mood is against them, they tried to do this (hold kisan mahapanchayat). It was like ‘aa bail mujhe maar (to dig one’s own grave)’. They will continue to face such situations. It is high time they went openly to the PM and convened a special Assembly session and face it (the no confidence motion)”.

On Khattar squarely blaming Congress and Communists for the disruption at Karnal village, Selja said pointing fingers at others won’t help the state government. “Calling names to farmers, calling them terrorists is not going to help. Congress, which is the main opposition party, is doing its part. We are holding political agitations. Right from day 1, we were against these three black laws. Congress’ stand had been very clear. We were the first ones to do district-wise protests and had submitted memorandums. Tomorrow, too, we are going to hold a demonstration outside Haryana Raj Bhavan in Chandigarh. In fact, we will hold protests outside all the Raj Bhavans across the country. We are doing our bit”.

Several JJP and Independent MLAs have been voicing their resentment and opposition to the farm legislations. Last month, some JJP MLAs had even discussed withdrawing support from the alliance government, which was conveyed to their chief Dushyant, too. Although, besides offering to be a mediator between the farmer unions and the union government to reach a consensus on the ongoing standoff, Dushyant had been maintaining that he would be the first one to resign if he fails to ensure MSP to the farmers of Haryana. However, at the same time, he too had been vehemently supporting the three farm legislations and blaming opposition for misleading the farmers.

Khattar and Dushyant, however, had been maintaining that their alliance was intact and there was “no threat” to the government in Haryana.

In the current scenario, while BJP has 40 MLAs, JJP has 10, and Congress has 31 in the 90-member House. There are seven independents and one each from INLD and Haryana Lokhit Party too. After 2019 Assembly polls, when BJP fell short of majority mark, it went into a post-poll alliance with JJP to form the government. Several of the Independent MLAs who had extended support to BJP after the polls, have now withdrawn it expressing solidarity with the ongoing farmers agitation.

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