The electoral alliance between Kuldeep Bishnoi’s Haryana Janhit Congress (HJC) and the BJP seems to be over. Bishnoi is likely to make a formal announcement in this regard in Chandigarh on Thursday.
The HJC is likely to announce a grand alliance with the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and the Jan Chetna Party (JCP) of former union minister Venod Sharma.
The HJC chief on Wednesday lashed out at the BJP accusing the saffron party of betraying him. “Cheating and hoodwinking is the BJP’s nature. For the last three years I have sincerely extended full cooperation to the party but the selfish BJP leadership has deceived me. It will have to face the consequences in the election,” Bishnoi told reporters at Loharu in Bhiwani district on Wednesday.
The BJP and HJC which had contested the 10 Lok Sabha seats in Haryana in the ratio 8:2 had a pact of contesting the 2014 assembly polls on 45 seats each. Bishnoi was to be the chief minister for the first half of the term in case the alliance came to power.
However, the BJP after its excellent showing in the Lok Sabha polls, where it won seven of the eight seats it contested, did a U-turn on the agreed seat-sharing formula. The HJC’s poor showing in the Lok Sabha polls where it lost both the seats it contested also contributed to the cold vibes between the two allies. While Bishnoi tried to work out an acceptable seat-sharing arrangement, the BJP cold-shouldered him altogether.
Haryana BJP leaders, including state BJP president Ram Bilas Sharma, have been taking potshots at Bishnoi and the HJC’s political standing. BJP national president Amit Shah recently underlined the party’s line of thinking when he said at a rally in Mahendergarh that the BJP would go alone if the HJC did not agree on the Lok Sabha seat-sharing arrangement. This meant that the saffron party was not willing to give more than 18 seats to the HJC for the assembly polls. State BJP co-incharge Anil Jain too had mocked at Bishnoi’s outfit during a rally in Jind. The HJC chief was also not invited when Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Kaithal recently.
Meanwhile, addressing a rally at Loharu on Wednesday, Bishnoi said, “Now the ball is in the people’s court. The people will deliver justice to me and teach a lesson to the cheats. I will clear my stand at a press conference in Chandigarh on Thursday.”
The HJC chief ridiculed the number of aspirants for the chief minister’s chair saying there were many who had been regularly losing elections for years. “The claim of a BJP wave has been belied by the results of the byelections in Uttarakhand and Bihar,’’ he said.
Challenging BJP president Amit Shah, he said, “If Shah succeeds in bringing the SYL water to Haryana, I will merge my party with the BJP without any condition.”
While Bishnoi could not be contacted, his party colleague Devi Lal told HT that the HJC chief would speak his mind on the alliance with the BJP on Thursday. “It’s the BJP’s culture to betray. They have deceived all their allies, be it Charan Singh, Devi Lal, Bansi Lal or Om Prakash Chautala. Now they are deceiving us,” he said.
BJP national spokesperson Capt Abhimanyu refused to comment.