Both BJP and Haryana Janhit Congress (HJC) on Tuesday hardened their positions on the seat arrangement in the ensuing assembly elections in the state with both refusing to yield ground to each other.
The BJP has made clear its intention to rewrite the seat sharing agreement signed in 2011, now giving only 25 seats out of total 90, while the HJC is adamant to be equal partner as was envisaged in the original agreement when it was also decided to project HJC leader Kuldeep Bishnoi as alliance’s chief ministerial candidate. The two partners were to have their leaders as chief minister for two-and-half years, each, in turn.
In alliance with the BJP, the HJC had in April this year, contested the parliamentary seats of Hisar and Sirsa and lost both, while BJP won seven of the eight seats it contested. Even HJC leader Kuldeep Bishnoi lost to INLD’s Dushyant Chautala from Hisar, while HJC’s Sushil Indora lost to INLD’s Charanjit Rori from Sirsa.
In changed political situation post Lok Sabha polls, the BJP leaders lost no time in objecting to the pre-poll truck with HJC, and now offers only 25 seats and refuse to give chief minister’s chair to Bishnoi.
“We are very clear about our stand on the alliance; not a single seat less than 45 and be partner in chief ministerial post,” Dharampal Malik, chairman of the HJC coordination committee, told HT on the alliance with BJP.
“Not only this, I had told BJP leaders on Monday to inform us about their mind in a day or two so that we can work accordingly. We have not heard from them as yet,” he added.
He said that HJC was cheated in the Lok Sabha polls as BJP gave it the Sirsa seat for which HJC was not prepared, hence lost and the HJC did not want such a situation this time.
Insisting that it was not fair for the BJP to change stand now, Malik said that HJC had already started election work in all the 90 seats.
However, though BJP incharge Jagdish Mukhi or the state president Ram Bilas Sharma could not be contacted despite efforts, the BJP Ambala Cantt MLA Anil Vij told HT that the party was clear on giving 25 seats to HJC in the changed scenario.
“Bishnoi ko 500 baar bataya hai ke HJC ki poor performance ke kaaran use 45 seats nahin di ja sakti aur aisa karne se party workers ke morale ko chot lagegi (Bishnoi had been told 500 times that giving HJC 45 seats was impossibile as doing that would hurt the party morale),” he said.