After mounting pressure on its ally, Haryana Janhit Congress(BL) for nearly a month, the Haryana BJP in consultation with the central leadership on Saturday decided that its partner for three years should agree to contest from 25 seats with BJP’s share of 65 and sans chief ministership’s claim as a ‘mini-partner’ in the assembly polls due in October.
According to old terms, the two parties were to contest election on 45 seats each out of the total 90 assembly seats, but after winning seven parliamentary seats and the HJC losing on two seats, the BJP wants its ally to either settle for less or part ways.
This was decided on Saturday in a meeting headed by BJP national president Rajnath Singh that was attended by the party’s core members.
From Haryana, state president Ram Bilas Sharma, Ambala legislator Anil Vij, all the winning parliamentarians except Gurgaon MP Rao Inderjit Singh, Haryana election committee president Manohar Lal Khattar, organisational secretary Suresh Bhatt, Om Prakash Dhankar, Jagdish Mukhi and Sudha Yadav were present.
A Haryana BJP leader, who attended the key meeting, said the new seat-sharing formula has been worked out with an intention of not taking the blame if the alliance snaps, as the HJC is likely to exploit the situation by shifting blame on the BJP.
The leader, who is one of the saffron party politicians staking claim to chief ministership, said in the meeting held at the official residence of the union home minister, it was decided that if Kuldeep Bishnoi remains adamant on keeping the ties intact on old conditions, the BJP would not cow down and should rather adopt a tough stance.
Though, he said, their intention would be to keep their four-year-old partner in good humour by patiently listening to Bishnoi’s perspective, at the same time it would not go back to previous terms of the alliance.
State BJP president Ram Bilas Sharma said Saturday’s meeting was more focused on phenomenal performance in Haryana in the Lok Sabha elections and preparations for the October assembly polls.
On the fate of the alliance and the decision on projecting a chief ministerial candidate before polls, he said the state leadership has presented its case, but the final decision would be taken by the central parliamentary board in next meeting.
Notably, questions were being raised on the alliance terms between the BJP and HJC after the former won all the seats except one while the latter lost two seats of its share — Hisar and Sirsa. HJC supremo Kuldeep Bishnoi lost election from Hisar.