The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Kuldeep Bishnoi-led Haryana Janhit Congress on Thursday severed their electoral alliance in Haryana. The BJP said it would contest the coming Haryana Assembly elections alone, though an electoral tie-up with the Indian National Lok Dal remains a possibility.
HJC chief Kuldeep Bishnoi today announced in Chandigarh that his party was snapping its three-year-old electoral alliance with the BJP. He accused BJP of “repeatedly betraying” his party. The HJC announced it would join hands with former Congress leader Venod Sharma’s Jan Chetna Party. Sharma said Bishnoi would be the alliance’s chief ministerial candidate.
Bishnoi had sought to induct Sharma in his party in the run up to the Lok Sabha elections but this was blocked by BJP leader Sushma Swaraj. She had protested openly to Bishnoi inducting Sharma, a close aide of Haryana’s Congress CM Bhupinder Singh Hooda, into the HJC and fielding him from the Karnal Lok Sabha seat.
It wasn’t as if BJP, which performed spectacularly in Haryana in the Lok Sabha elections, shed any tears at Bishnoi’s walking out of the alliance. BJP had demanded many more than the 45-seats Bishnoi was willing to share with it as part of their seat adjustment formula to the 90-member assembly.
In the Lok Sabha, BJP won seven of the eight seats it contested while HJC lost both the seats, Sirsa and Hissar, it contested as part of the electoral alliance. Bishnoi lost his own seat from Hissar. He today accused BJP of having sabotaged HJC’s changes in both the seats.
In Delhi, BJP spokesperson Shahnawaz Hussain mocked Bishnoi as a general without an army and suffering from delusions to becoming CM when he couldn’t win his own seat. Hussain said Bishnoi and his party would play the role of Congress’ “B team” in Haryana, and were part of a conspiracy to split the vote of people who want a change in the state. Hussain said the souring of relations started when BJP objected to Bishnoi giving a ticket to Venod Sharma, political leader considered close to Hooda, from Karnal. Hussain said BJP has never betrayed any of its allies. Hussain claimed BJP would contest Haryana elections on its own. “There will be a BJP CM in Haryana,” he said.
Bishnoi said, “The BJP wants to weaken and wipe out the regional parties. They make use of regional parties to make their party strong and later dump them”. He said there was no longer any “Modi Wave” and things are always different during the Lok Sabha polls and in the state polls. Bishnoi alleged he and his party were “insulted” at every turn by BJP. He claimed that neither did BJP invite him to share the stage with Narendra Modi at the Rewari rally of September last year, nor did Modi take his name in his speech.
In a related development, Birender Singh, who recently quit the Congress to join BJP, resigned from his Rajya Sabha seat.