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HindustanTimes Wed,01 Oct 2014

Shah firm on new terms for alliance with HJC

Sat Singh, Hindustan Times  Rohtak, July 18, 2014
First Published: 08:34 IST(18/7/2014) | Last Updated: 08:36 IST(18/7/2014)

The equal seat sharing formula with the Haryana Janhit Congress for the ensuing assembly elections is not acceptable to the Bharatiya Janata Party high command, it is learnt.

After much deliberations on the issue with state party leaders in New Delhi on Wednesday, BJP president Amit Shah asked party leaders to start preparing for the polls as if the party were to fight on all the 90 assembly seats.

The meeting was attended by the party’s in-charge of Haryana affairs Jagdish Mukhi and joint in-charge Anil Jain, besides party’s state president Ram Bilas Sharma and union minister Krishanpal Gujjar and Kisan Morcha president OP Dhankar.

However, a BJP leader, who is a front-runner for the chief minister’s post, confided that to keep the alliance with the HJC intact was necessary for the saffron party for favourable results by polarising non-Jat votes, keeping in mind that Jats traditionally favoured the Indian National Lok Dal and the Congress.

Another party leader, who also attended the meeting, said that Shah urged the Haryana leaders to be firm on a new seat sharing formula sans HJC claim for the CM post and then let the alliance partner choose its path.

He said that to placate HJC chief Kuldeep Bishnoi, he can be offered a Rajya Sabha seat and a cabinet berth at the Centre if he readies to accept new seatsharing formula sans claim on CM chair in Haryana.

Notably, with the dismal show of HJC in the Lok Sabha, state BJP leaders wanted to change the terms and conditions for continuing the alliance ahead of the assembly polls.

However, in the past, saffron party top leadership, including home minister Rajnath Singh, external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj had announced at public rallies to install Bishnoi as chief minister for the first half if the tenure in case the alliance was voted to power in Haryana.

Sources said that the BJP chief asked the party leaders to activate all their channels and ensure maximum gathering in rallies in the run up to the assembly polls.

Shah, it is learnt, also said that assembly polls in Haryana are the litmus test for Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Haryana BJP general secretary (organisation) Manohar Lal Khattar said that Shah heard all the state leaders including new MPs from Haryana patiently and asked to identity meritorious individuals for assembly seats. On seat sharing with HJC, he said that the matter was discussed but Shah referred the matter to parliamentary board to take the final call.

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