Political uncertainty in Haryana ahead of LS polls: Dushyant Chautala's JJP willing to back Congress

Sombir Sangwan, Randhir Singh Gollen and Dharampal Gonder withdrew support to NDA

Dushyant Chautala of JJP pti photo Jannayak Janta Party (JJP) leader Dushyant Chautala addresses the media | PTI

Ahead of Lok Sabha polls in the state, the Haryana government is facing political uncertainty after three independent MLAs withdrew their support to the NDA government. The legislators' action has resulted in Chief Minister Nayab Singh Saini's government being reduced to a minority. 

The BJP-led NDA now falls short by two MLAs and needs the support of two more members to remain in power. In the 90-member Assembly, the NDA currently has 43 MLAs. 

The three independents who supported the saffron party since 2019 but withdrew the support on Tuesday – Sombir Sangwan (Dadri), Randhir Singh Gollen (Pundri) and Dharampal Gonder (Nilokheri) – have announced that they are ready to extend their support to the Congress, which is now poised to capitalize on the situation. The Congress currently has 30 MLAs in the state assembly. 

What has made matters worse for the NDA is that the Jannayak Janta Party (JJP) has also expressed its willingness to support the grand old party if the present government is brought down. Dushyant Chautala, JJP’s president said on Wednesday, “I want to tell Leader of Opposition Bhupinder Singh Hooda that going by the present numbers in the Assembly, if a step is taken that this government is brought down during (Lok Sabha) elections, then we will fully consider to support them in this. Now, the Congress has to think whether they will take a step to bring down the BJP government.” 

With three defectors and the JJP (with its 10 MLAs) extending support, the total tally of Congress-led alliance will go up to 43. Independent MLA Balraj Kundu also claims to be opposing the government and if he also comes into the Congress fold, the coalition will be short by just one seat to reach the half-way mark. 

Congress is banking on Om Prakash Chautala-led Indian National Lok Dal (INLD), which has just one MLA in the Assembly, to make the math work in its favour. However, if INLD decides otherwise and supports the BJP, it would result in both fronts having 44 MLAs each as two independents and Haryana Lokhit Party (HLP) MLA Gopal Kanda still support the BJP, which has 40 members of its own in the state assembly. 

The Congress, however, has now sought the imposition of the President's Rule and called for fresh elections in Haryana. It has also requested that JJP and others who are in its support write to the Governor. “The JJP should also write a letter stating that the government be dismissed. INLD's Abhay Singh Chautala and Independent MLA Balraj Kundu, who claim to be opposing the government, should also write similar letters to the Governor,” senior Congress leader BB Batra said.

Amidst the political realignment, the Haryana government hangs in the balance, with likely potential implications for the upcoming voting in Haryana on May 25. 

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