BJP is heading for an embarrassing situation in Haryana, with seven of its Cabinet ministers, state chief and Vidhan Sabha speaker – all trailing in their respective constituencies with huge margins. Presently, BJP is leading in 38 seats, with the Congress snapping at its heels and is ahead in 35 seats. Dushyant Chautala’s JJP is leading in 9 seats and is emerging as a kingmaker in case neither BJP nor Congress manages an absolute majority.
Former Haryana chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda has appealed to JJP and independent candidates who are winning to support Congress. “Haryana has given its mandate against BJP. Entire opposition must join hands to support Congress and form the government,” Hooda told media persons in Rohtak.
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Barring Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar in Karnal and Health minister Anil Vij in Ambala cantonment, all other Cabinet ministers are way behind their rival candidates.
Haryana Health Minister Anil Vij won from his stronghold Ambala Cantonment seat defeating his nearest rival Chitra Sarwara, an Independent candidate. Vij, a five-time MLA from the constituency, defeated Sarwara by a margin of 20,165 votes.
Haryana minister Krishan Kumar Bedi, meanwhile, lost to Jannayak Janta Party rival Ram Karan from the Shahbad reserved constituency on Thursday. Bedi lost by a margin of 37,127 votes to the JJP candidate.
BJP’s star candidate, TikTok star Sonali Phogat lost to Congress leader Kuldeep Bishnoi from Adampur assembly constituency in Haryana’s Hisar district. Bishnoi, younger son of former chief minister Bhajan Lal, defeated Phogat by a margin of 29,471 votes.
Meanwhile, BJP leadership has summoned Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar to Delhi. Confirming the development, Faridabad MP Krishanpal said Khattar had reached New Delhi and was holding discussions with the party high command.
“Manohar Lal Khattar has reached New Delhi and is holding discussions with the party high command. As far as result trends are concerned, people have voted for BJP and the government will be formed in Haryana under the leadership of Manohar Lal Khattar. We should wait for some more time,” Faridabad MP Krishanpal said.
On the other hand, Dushyant Chautala, who had lost to BJP’s Prem Lata in 2014 assembly polls in Uchana Kalan constituency of Hisar district, is leading in the constituency. Prem Lata’s son Brijendra Singh is Hisar’s incumbent BJP MP. Prem Lata is the wife of BJP’s former union minister Birender Singh, who had been an MLA from Uchana Kalan four times.
Dushyant also indicated there could be a hung assembly. “Neither BJP nor Congress will cross 40 seats. I believe that JJP will hold the key to the formation of government in Haryana”. Haryana’s former Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda, speaking to reporters outside his residence in Rohtak, said: “Congress will get an absolute majority.”
In 2014, the BJP had won 47 seats and the Congress 15, with two Haryana Janhit Congress legislators later merging with it. The INLD had 19 seats and the Bahujan Samaj Party and the Shiromani Akali Dal one each. There were five Independents.
(With ENS inputs)