Citing its dismal performance in the company of Om Prakash Chautala in the Lok Sabha elections in Haryana, the BJP on Monday snapped its ties with the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) led by him the state.
The move did not come as a surprise. It came as a follow-up to the discussions at BJP's chintan baithak (introspection meet) in Shimla where several leaders had said that continuing the tie-up with Chautala's party would be suicidal for the BJP.
The BJP would try for an understanding with the Bhajan Lal-led Haryana Janhit Congress (HJC) to form a non-Jat front to oppose the Congress.
This is the second time the two parties have parted ways in the last five years.
BJP general secretary Vijay Goel said in Chandigarh, “The alliance with INLD has come to an end. We will contest the upcoming assembly polls in the state on our own.”
Party chief Rajnath Singh said in New Delhi, “I believe it’s the rigid nature of the INLD in seat-sharing that is the main reason for deviating from continuing the alliance with that party.”
The INLD-BJP alliance, which ruled the state for five years from 1999, had collapsed in 2004, following serious differences between Chautala and the BJP’s state leaders.
The BJP's decision to part ways is bad news for Chautala as his party has recently been rocked by desertions, especially by senior leaders, including former minister Sampat Singh.
The Congress government led by Bhupinder Singh Hooda dissolved the 90-member Haryana assembly last Friday —seven months ahead of its term for an early election – to take advantage of the disarray in the opposition.
In the 2005 assembly polls, the INLD won merely nine seats and the BJP two. The two parties reunited a few months before the Lok Sabha elections in May this year despite strong opposition from several state unit leaders of the BJP.
Their cadres did not work in unison and the alliance failed to even open its account. The coalition secured only 28.59 per cent votes -- as against 22.43 per cent and 17.21 per cent by the INLD and the BJP respectively -- in the 2004 elections when they had contested separately and were facing strong anti-incumbency in the state.
The Congress had then come back to power with an overwhelming majority bagging 67 of the 90 seats while the INLD won just nine, even less than the Independents who won 10. The BJP, which had fought all 90 seats independently, managed to win just two seats.