BJP president Rajnath Singh on Saturday ruled out the possibility of an immediate alliance with Om Prakash Chautala’s Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) in Haryana.
The BJP, at present, has an electoral alliance with Kuldeep Bishnoi’s Haryana Janhit Congress in Haryana.
Speaking to HT over phone, Singh said that his recent visit to a hospitalised Chautala was a mere courtesy call. “Since he is not keeping well, I met him to enquire about his well being,’’ the BJP president said in an answer to a question. He said that he has known the former Haryana chief minister for long, a reason why he went to meet him. “Hum to sabhi ko milne jaate hain,’’ Singh said.
Singh along with party vice-president. Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi had gone to meet the INLD leader at a Delhi hospital fuelling speculation about a possible poll alliance between old friends and NDA allies- the BJP and the INLD. Chautala along with his elder son is undergoing a 10-year sentence after being convicted in the JBT teachers recruitment case.
“The BJP’s poll plank would be anti-corruption. The party has been chanting the anti-corruption mantra to bolster its chances in the Lok Sabha polls. In such circumstances, it is impossible for the party to collaborate with a party whose top leaders are undergoing sentence in a corruption case. It will be a loss of face for the party,’’ said a senior BJP leader.
Chautala’s INLD, which had the backing of the BJP brass during the rule of former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee, has little support in the BJP central leadership now.
On Friday, Haryana Janhit Congress chief Kuldeep Bishnoi too had scotched speculation about the breakdown of the alliance.
Asked whether there was disagreement between the allies over modalities for contesting the municipal elections, Bishnoi said that allies had decided that the BJP contest the election on the party symbol and HJC candidates contest as independents. This, he said, has been decided mutually.