Desperate to avoid a split in the anti-Jat votes in Haryana, which will go to polls between September and October, the BJP’s central leaders appear open to continuing its alliance with Kuldeep Bishnoi’s Haryana Janhit Congress (HJC).
The alliance, BJP leaders say, could continue if Bishnoi agrees to settle for fewer seats than what the two parties had agreed to in the run-up to the Lok Sabha polls.
They had last year decided to contest 45 seats each, with Bishnoi getting the first chance to become CM for two and a half year in case of the alliance winning the poll. Haryana assembly’s tenure is ending on October 27.
Central emissaries that BJP chief Amit Shah sent on July 25 to four different regions of Haryana are believed to have argued infavour of continuing the alliance, only if Bishnoi agrees to contesting lesser number of seats.
Union ministers Radha Mohan Singh, Sanjeev Balyan and Santosh Gangwar, besides general secretary JP Nadda and national secretary Bhupendra Yadav, toured different parts of the state on July 25 to get a feedback on the alliance.
“Shah on Monday reviewed Haryana situation at a meeting with state leaders in the backdrop of reports submitted by these leaders. We will request Bishnoi to revisit the seat sharing agreement,” a BJP leader present in the meeting told HT. Party sources say BJP may offer 20-22 assembly seats to HJC to continue in alliance.
On the other hand, after a splendid show in the Lok Sabha polls – winning 7 out of 8 seats it contested – the BJP’s local leadership is eager to break ranks with the HJC – which lost both the seats it contested – and test electoral waters on its own strength.