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Sunday 7 June 2020

Dushyant wooed by both INC, BJP emerges kingmaker

While Dushyant Chautala denies talking to either the BJP or the Congress until the results are final, sources in both the parties say they have approached him

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In the trends of Haryana Assembly election results that have defied the exit poll predictions, Congress is seen giving a tough competition to the BJP. The two parties are tied in a neck-and-neck contest. In this scenarios, in what appears to be a repeat of their act in Karnataka one-and-a-half years ago, the Congress has reportedly offered Dushyant Chautala the post of deputy chief minister, which Chautala has officially denied. He says his party, the Jannayak Janata Party (JJP) will take a call on any offer from either party only when the final results arrive.

At the time when this report was drafted, both BJP and Congress were leading in 35 seats each while “others” were ahead in 20 seats, with the scene promising to be an edge-of-the-seat thriller.

Congress sources say they have approached Dushyant Chautala’s party JJP for support. Congress has offered JJP the post of deputy chief minister, they insist. Chautala is ready to commit only this much as of now that his party is going to play an important role in forming the new government. He said if no party got a majority in the state, his party will play an important role in forming the new government.

The JJP head said he would decide “whether we have to go with BJP or with Congress or sit in opposition” only after the final figures were out. “Our party has worked above caste and party lines. We want to provide jobs to 75% youth in the state, the right price to farmers, and prioritise women safety,” he said.

After the counting of votes started, Chautala had said, voters had given a lot of love to his party, the JJP. “Haryana wants a change. You will see a new face in no time,” he said.

The parties are engaged in tough battles in 26-27 seats, Dushyant Chautala acknowledged. “Wait for the election result. Only then can it be said with which party I will go. I will first call a party meeting only then I will decide. The party will decide the future role whether we have to go with BJP, go with Congress or sit in opposition. We have worked above caste and party lines. I want jobs for 75% of the youth, fair price for the farmers, security for women and rights for the workers,” he said.

Meanwhile, news has just arrived that BJP president Amit Shah has summoned Chief Minister ML Khattar to Delhi to seek an explanation for the lacklustre performance of the party in this Assembly election.

Further, sources in the BJP say that they are trying to woo Dushyant Chautala as well via Parkash Singh and Sukhbir Singh Badal. The Shiromani Akali Dal is not an ally of the BJP in Haryana unlike the situation in Punjab.

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