Haryana political crisis: 3 MLAs turn back on BJP-led govt, go with Congress | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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Haryana political crisis: 3 MLAs turn back on BJP-led govt, go with Congress

BySunil Rahar, , Rohtak/chandigarh
May 08, 2024 12:24 AM IST

Haryana BJP-led government faces crisis as three independent lawmakers withdraw support, back Congress.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led government in Haryana plunged into a crisis on Tuesday after three independent lawmakers withdrew support and said they would campaign for the opposition Congress in the ongoing general elections, leaving the chief minister Nayab Singh Saini-led administration tottering on the brink of collapse merely two months after being sworn in.

Three independent MLAs Sombir Sangwan, Randhir Golan and Dharampal Gondar withdraw support from the BJP government in Rohtak on Tuesday. (ANI)
Three independent MLAs Sombir Sangwan, Randhir Golan and Dharampal Gondar withdraw support from the BJP government in Rohtak on Tuesday. (ANI)

The three lawmakers — Randhir Golan from Pundri, Dharmpal Gonder from Nilokheri and Sombir Singh Sangwan from Dadri — said they had decided to back former CM Bhupinder Singh Hooda of the Congress and have written to governor Bandaru Dattatreya, pulling their support from the Saini government.

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“We are withdrawing support to the government. We are extending our support to the Congress,” Gonder said.

Assembly elections are scheduled in the state in October-November this year. All 10 Lok Sabha seats in the state go to the polls on May 25.

Bhupinder Singh Hooda said the three independent lawmakers decided to withdraw support because of huge anger against the state administration.

Chief minister Nayab Singh Saini should resign from his post because he has lost the mandate and we demand imposition of President’s Rule in the state. The BJP government had already lost the public’s mandate and now Saini’s government is in danger. First we will defeat them in the Lok Sabha polls and then Congress will form the government in Haryana,” Hooda added.

Saini blamed the Congress.

“I have received this information. Maybe Congress is engaged in fulfilling some people’s wishes now. Congress has nothing to do with the wishes of the public,” he told news agency ANI.

In the 90-member assembly, two seats are vacant, of which Karnal is going for by-elections on May 25.

The BJP has 40 members, and has the support of two independents — Nayan Pal Rawat from Prithla and Rakesh Daulatabad from Badshahpur — and Gopal Kanda of the Haryana Lokhit Party. That takes it to 43, two short of the majority mark of 45 in assembly that currently has a strength of 88.

The Congress has 30 lawmakers, the Jannayak Janata Party (JJP) has 10, and the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) has one. In addition, one independent legislator — Balraj Kundu from Meham — has not made his position clear.

If they all oppose the government, there will have 45 votes against the state government.

All eyes will be on the JJP, a former ally of the BJP which pulled support from the erstwhile Manohar Lal Khattar government in a dramatic move in March, prompting the BJP to appoint Saini as the chief minister.

JJP leader Digvijay Singh Chautala said that Hooda should meet the governor and claim that the government was in a minority. “Now, we are in Opposition and the JJP will work to topple this government. Hooda should talk to JJP and independents and stake claim to form new government,” he added.

Family members of two JJP legislators — Ram Karan Kala and Ishwar Singh — have joined the Congress while a third, Jogi Ram Sihag, has announced that he would campaign for the BJP. If the JJP abstains, it will help the ruling party.

Saini won the trust vote in a special session of the assembly on March 13, a day after being appointed in place of his mentor Manohar Lal Khattar. The maximum period between two sessions of the assembly cannot exceed six months, which means that the governor will have to summon the House before September 13. At that time, Saini could face a floor test — just weeks before assembly elections are scheduled in the state. To be sure, if the BJP wins the assembly by-election on May 25, then his government will gain a majority of one in the 90-member House.

But Sangwan said that another independent, Rakesh Daultabad from Badshahpur, will join the dissidents soon.

Gonder said that the five independents had made a commitment to Khattar, not Saini.

“ As our commander was ousted from power, we have nothing to do with Nayab Singh Saini. We have decided to support the Congress in the Lok Sabha polls and assembly elections too. The farmers and sarpanches [village chiefs] were mounting pressure on us to support the Congress,” he added.

Sangwan said that he supported the Congress’s non-confidence motion against the Khattar government during the farmers’ stir and backed Saini in the trust vote as he made a promise to Khattar.

“On some occasions, we backed both the Congress and the BJP inside and outside the assembly, according to prevailing situations. Now, we will support Hooda sahab and more independent MLAs will join them soon,” he added.

Daultabad could not be reached for comment.

Haryana BJP leader, Jawahar Yadav said that there was no danger to the BJP government. “ The government has the numbers. The Nayab Saini government won a vote of confidence on March 13. If a situation arises where the government has to prove its majority, we will do it emphatically on the floor of the House,’’ Yadav said.

CM Nayab Saini said that these MLAs have decided to support Congress by assuming that their personal aspirations will be fulfilled there.

Golan said that anger against the BJP government was simmering and they have decided to back Congress on the advice given by public. “Every section of the society is upset from BJP rule. We want Hooda led Congress government in Haryana,” he added.

The Congress remained tight-lipped over the issue, with functionaries suggesting that the party leadership was focusing on the Lok Sabha campaign.

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