BJP ready to give Karnal seat to HJC
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is learnt to have agreed to leave Karnal parliamentary segment to its ally Haryana Janhit Congress (HJC).
An announcement in this regard is expected to be made in a couple of days, said political sources privy to the development.
As per their pre-poll programme, it was decided that HJC would field its candidates from two of the ten parliamentary segments in Haryana. HJC wanted to retain Hisar, which is being represented by its president Kuldeep Bishnoi. There are speculations that Bishnoi wants to contest from Karnal as his late father and former chief minister Bhajan Lal had won the 1998 parliamentary elections from here. Bishnoi reportedly sees Karnal as an easy seat.
Karnal is dominated by Punjabi and Bhramin voters and the seat had always gone to a non-Jat candidate.
The BJP couldn't take a decision on Karnal seat as the local leaders of the party, especially the ticket-seekers, were against the arrangement of giving the seat to the HJC.
In February, the local unit of the BJP had given in writing to its central leadership, demanding to retain the Karnal seat and field a local candidate.
But, according to the sources, the national BJP leadership had given HJC the freedom to choose their seats.
"Though it is well-known that certain BJP leaders are opposing HJC candidate from Karnal seat, still the BJP leaders have assured Kuldeep Bishnoi that all ranks and file will support the HJC in the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections," said a source, who wished not to be identified.
Meanwhile, political observers said that the alliance may face a tough opposition from a section of BJP leaders keen to contest elections from Karnal.
BJP leader Maratha Virender Varma, a prominent Ror community leader, is one of the most visible dissident on the HJC being given the Karnal seat.
In a recent interview to HT, Varma had gone to the extent that if a HJC candidate contests from Karnal, the candidate would forfeit his or her election security deposit.