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Wednesday, June 29, 2022

2020 jolt in mind, BJP decides to go solo in Haryana civic polls

State BJP president Om Prakash Dhankar said, “The BJP state executive has decided to contest the civic body polls alone in place of an alliance. In all municipal corporations, we will contest the election on party symbol.”

By: Express News Service | Chandigarh |
Updated: May 29, 2022 8:01:51 am
Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar. (PTI/File)

The BJP Saturday announced that it will go solo in the Haryana civic elections scheduled on June 19. The saffron party is ruling the state in alliance with the Jannayak Janata Party with which it had contested the last civic polls held in 2020 but had suffered a jolt.

“The BJP state executive has decided to contest the civic body polls alone in place of an alliance. In all municipal corporations, we will contest the election on party symbol,” state BJP president Om Prakash Dhankar said.

The decision, announced after a two-day long meeting of the state executive in Hisar, comes a day after a Delhi court awarded a four-year jail term to former Haryana Chief Minister Om Prakash Chautala in a disproportionate assets (DA) case and ordered to seize four of his properties. Following the court order, the JJP cancelled all its party programmes till further notice.

Chautala’s grandson Dushyant Chautala is Deputy chief minister in the alliance government.

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Announcing the cancellation of party programmes Friday, Dushyant’s younger brother Digvijay Chautala said, “The sentence awarded to my grandfather…is extremely painful and unfortunate. We hope that a relief shall be granted by High Court…in wake of the punishment.. JJP’s all upcoming political programmes stand cancelled till further orders”.

Dushyant, Digvijay, and their parents Ajay Chautala and Naina Chautala had parted ways with Chautala-led Indian National Lok Dal after they were rebuked by him and not given adequate prominence in the parent party. JJP currently has 10 MLAs, while INLD has one in the 90-member Vidhan Sabha.

While there was no immediate reaction from the JJP over its ally’s decision, Dhankar said BJP’s election committee will meet in Panchkula on July 1 to take decision regarding the candidates. “Before this, an observer will be sent to every district on June 30 and 31 where they will meet the local party leaders. After that they submit their report, a final decision will be taken in panchkula,” Dhankar said.

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He said the party will contest the municipal corporation polls on party symbol, the district units will take a call on whether to contest the elections to municipal committees on party symbol.

The municipal elections in Haryana are being seen as a big test for both the BJP and the JJP while it will be an even bigger examination for the revamped Haryana Congress. The polls have also taken an interesting turn with a buoyant Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) — on a high after securing power in neighbouring Punjab with brute majority — looking to test the ground ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha and state Assembly polls.

Earlier in December 2020, amid the ongoing farmer agitation, the BJP -JJP alliance had suffered a jolt in the mayoral polls for three municipal corporations — Ambala, Panchkula and Sonipat. The BJP won the mayoral poll in Panchkula, while the Congress secured the Sonipat civic body. In Ambala, former Union Minister Venod Sharma’s wife won the mayoral poll. It was for the first time that direct elections were held for mayoral posts in the three cities. Then, the JJP had suffered a major setback with the party losing the poll battle for Uklana as well as Dharuhera civic body chiefs.

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