HJC wants BJP to decide on seat sharing in two weeks
The Haryana Janhit Congress (HJC) leadership has decided to wait for its political ally the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to settle the seat-sharing formula by the first week of June else it may contest the forthcoming assembly polls on its own.
Sources in the HJC told Hindustan Times on Sunday that if its leadership was humiliated by backtracking on an old alliance, the BJP would face a stiff electoral opposition from it.
"We have asked the central BJP leadership to finalise the list of candidates in another two weeks. We will not allow the ally to linger on the issue in view of the changed political situation and our leadership is ready to field its candidates on all 90 assembly seats," said a source.
The HJC leadership categorically that it want to enjoy the status of equal political partners and not a subordinate of the BJP.
After the alliance, HJC president Kuldeep Bishnoi was named as chief ministerial candidate by the central leadership of the BJP.
It was announced that in the Lok Sabha elections the BJP would contest on eight seats whereas two segments would be reserved for the HJC.
Similarly, the BJP had publicly announced that the alliance would contest on 45 seats each of the state assembly and Bishnoi was projected as the CM for the first two-and-a-half-years after which a BJP candidate would occupy the top office.
However, the alliance ran into rough weather before the Lok Sabha elections where the BJP leaders had openly opposed an alliance with the HJC.
It was following a strong opposition that the HJC leadership was "humiliated" after it had to withdraw its claim to contest from Karnal parliamentary segment from where Bishnoi had officially named his elder brother Chander Mohan as candidate.
The HJC contested from Hisar and Sirsa LS segments but both of its candidates, including Bishnoi, suffered defeat.
After the BJP emerged victorious in the LS elections and won seven of the 10 seats from Haryana, a section of the state BJP leadership has again raised its voice against Bishnoi and favoured to go alone in the state polls.
However, HJC sources said though the central BJP leadership had expressed solidarity with Bishnoi after the party's debacle, the state leaders had a tough stand against the alliance.
"There is no question for a compromise on seat share and the HJC firmly wants that Bishnoi be projected as the CM candidate. It is very distasteful that the BJP leaders have forgotten their promise and any act to humiliate Bishnoi or the party will not be tolerated," said an HJC leader, also a member of the core team of Bishnoi.
Insiders also hint at luring rebel leaders in the BJP if the alliance further faces rough weather.
"There are several prominent leaders in the BJP who were annoyed over the ticket distribution during the LS polls and they may be motivated to join our front. But we seriously want the alliance to go on else non-Congress, non-BJP parties would be major gainers in the state elections," said a source.
Sources also blame the withdrawal of HJC candidate from Karnal was among the factors seen behind Bishnoi's defeat.
"Our post-poll assessment said the decision to give Karnal seat even as HJC had named its candidate, gave a wrong impression that Bishnoi was a weak leader who was humiliated by its ally. Though it is a false projection but we do not want any step taken to strengthen the alliance in a wring way," said the leader.