First test of BJP-JJP coalition will be to surmount fault lines

JJP’s commitment to enact a right to work legislation and ensure 75% reservation in private sector jobs for Haryana youth can become a bone of contention between the two allies
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Published on Oct 30, 2019 11:10 PM IST
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Hindustan Times, Chandigarh | By, Chandigarh

Rising above fault lines while putting together a common minimum programme (CMP) will be a challenge for the newly-stitched BJP-JJP alliance ruling Haryana.

Chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar has said that committees comprising leaders of both parties will be constituted to formulate CMP for the state.

The BJP, which was in power in Haryana for the last five years, steered clear of populism while unveiling their election manifesto whereas its ally, the JJP, a new entrant on the electoral scene, went over the top in its quest for power.

CONTENTIOUS COMMITMENTS

Some of the promises made by JJP, state officials said, were financially unviable or idealistic. The JJP’s commitment to enact a right to work legislation and ensure 75% reservation in private sector jobs for Haryana youth on the lines of YS Jaganmohan Reddy government in Andhra Pradesh could become a bone of contention between the two allies. “The proposal has the potential to upset the investors. In Andhra also, the move has been termed regressive,’’ said an official.

Similarly, the JJP’s promise to increase the monthly old age pension from the existing 2,000 of 5,100 is being seen as a “rather ambitious” commitment to woo the elderly and a drain on the state exchequer. The BJP, on the other hand, plans to increase the old age pension to 3,000 per month.

The two allies are not on the same page as far as sale of food grains by the farmers is concerned. While the BJP has launched Meri Fasal Mera Byora service asking farmers to register on a web portal to facilitate remuneration of the crop produce to farmers by directly transferring the amount in their bank accounts, the JJP is opposed to the idea.

Deputy chief minister Dushyant Chautala had slammed the BJP government a couple of months ago for initiating compulsory registration of all farmers on the Meri Fasal Mera Byora portal to sell their produce.

Similarly, the JJP in its poll manifesto had promised a sum of 11,000 per month as unemployment allowance whereas under the Educated Youth Allowance and Honorarium Scheme started by the BJP, the maximum remuneration made to an unemployed youth is 9,000 per month for a post-graduate.

The JJP wants the government to go back to the erstwhile pension scheme for government employees instead of the contributory pension scheme now in force. It also has promised to fix minimum monthly wage at 16,000 and assured daily wages at 600. The current lowest daily wage in Haryana is about 347.

COMMON GROUND

However, there are areas where the two allies are on the same page. For instance, both are committed to waiving farm loans taken from co-operative financial institutions; supporting better remuneration for crops and improving the minimum support price (MSP) regime, encouraging horticulture activity, setting up a separate department for youth development and employment, and discontinuing setting up of liquor vends in village abadi area.

Top officials said that many of the commitments in the poll manifestos of the two allies are identical or extensions of each other.

“The vision and direction is the same but financial implications are varying. Then, there are some issues which don’t find a cross mention. The problem area would be the ones which are contrary though they are a smaller set. Those will have to be deliberated upon and put together by the co-ordination committee for arriving at the CMP,’’ said an official.

Officials said the decision to set up the Haryana Teacher Eligibility Test (HTET) examination centers within a distance of 50 km in an adjoining district was an outcome of an identical thought process. “The government was keen to do it. So when the JJP flagged the issue, the government readily agreed to it,’’ said an official

JJP leader KC Bangar, who was a part of the team which prepared the party manifesto, said the JJP will go with a positive outlook and expected the same from the BJP.

The BJP is also mulling over the possibility of constituting an oversight committee to monitor, review and supervise the implementation of CMP. Senior party leaders like Ram Bilas Sharma, Capt Abhimanyu, OP Dhankar and Kavita Jain — all former ministers who lost this election — are being considered due to their experience in government.

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