As the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) takes its first shot at power in Haryana on its own in next month's assembly elections, the leadership has set itself the onerous target of winning 60 seats in the 90-member assembly - an increase of a phenomenal 1,440 percent.
From its present strength of just four (now reduced to three after the recent resignation of one legislator) in the outgoing assembly, the BJP's confidence is definitely being doubted by other leaders and parties.
The BJP, which won seven of the 10 Lok Sabha seats in the April-May parliamentary polls, is confident that it will achieve the 46-seat mark required for a simple majority in the assembly on its own.
Though the Haryana BJP leadership launched 'Mission 46', union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, while addressing a rally in Haryana the other day, asked for this to be raised to 'Mission 60'.
"Though it is good for the party to be confident, the BJP's over-confidence could kill its chances of coming to power on its own in the state. The BJP has no top leader to be its chief ministerial face. Its cadre strength too is limited," a senior BJP leader admitted to IANS, speaking on condition of anonymity.
With the ruling Congress, which has been in power in Haryana since March 2005, and the main opposition Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) breathing down its neck for the Oct 15 assembly polls, the BJP cannot take things for granted. The reverses suffered by the party in recent by-elections in various states have come as a dampener to its aspirations in Haryana.
"The BJP will soon realise where it stands. The election results will be a shocker for the BJP leadership. The Congress will get a third term in office. The Lok Sabha polls were won in the name of one individual. The voters have now realised where the BJP stands," Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda said with renewed confidence.
The Haryana Janhit Congress (HJC) led by Kuldeep Bishnoi, son of former chief minister Bhajan Lal, recently broke its alliance with the BJP, accusing the BJP of "betrayal" on seat sharing and the chief minister's post.
"The BJP has always played second fiddle to the INLD and the (now defunct) Haryana Vikas Party (of former chief minister Bansi Lal). It was never the principal opposition in Haryana," school teacher Raj Kumar Dahiya told IANS.
The stakes for the BJP are too high. The best showing by the BJP was in 1987, when it won 16 seats while in an alliance with the INLD. After going down to just two seats in 1991, the BJP's next best performance was 11 seats in 1996.
In the 2000 assembly polls, BJP had six legislators, which went down to two in 2005 polls and marginally climbed to four in 2009.