The BJP is set to tie up with Om Prakash Chautala’s Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) to boost its electoral chances in Haryana for the coming Lok Sabha polls.
The party hopes to cash in on the alliance between the INLD’s Jat base and its own urban Brahmin-Bania base, but there are fears that the two vote-chunks may be electorally incompatible. However, the alliance seems fairly powerful on paper, though the BJP is also trying to rope in Bhajan Lal’s Haryana Janhit Party.
This seals the possibility of any viable national third front remaining in the fray for the next general elections. Fence-sitters will now be under pressure to choose between the NDA and the UPA.
The BJP’s core leaders are locked up in discussions on alliances and candidates in other states too.
The party plans to come out with the first list of candidates by the last week of October. Half the seats will have new candidates, says a senior leader. The party will go to voters with the claim that BJP rule in the state saw “better roads and a better power situation,” he added.
Leaders believe the Gujjar ST quota row has been sorted out without antagonising the Gujjars or the Meena Scheduled Tribe that opposed ST quota for Gujjars.
In this state, BJP leaders say the party will not demand any seat where ally Shiv Sena has a sitting member. It wants to contest 26 seats, leaving 22 for the Sena.
On the possibility of damage caused by Raj Thackeray eating into the Sena vote, BJP leaders say the Mayawati impact will balance this damage.
On demands for OBC quota to the Marathas, BJP leader Gopinath Munde says the party will respond if the government makes a formal announcement.
The party is looking to rope in Ajit Singh’s RLD, though Kalyan Singh and election Prabhari Kalraj Mishra have reservations about it. But many feel an alliance with the Jat party may do it some good in western UP.
Jammu & Kashmir
The BJP plans to go it alone in this state. It will try to field candidates wherever it is strong — it expects some gains in Jammu after the Amarnath agitation — and will strategically look to support “nationalist independents” where it is weak.
“We want to ensure a nationalist government in J&K,” says a senior leader.