As the last round of counting of votes cast in the Haryana Assembly election proceeds, while all eyes are on Dushyant Chautala‘s choice for post-poll alliance, there are six other potential kingmakers that both the BJP and the Congress are trying to attract. It will not be Chautala alone who will decide the victor in the nailbiting finish of the race for power in Haryana. But all the seven politicians may not move in the same direction.
The names of these six independents are Balraj Kundu from Meham, Nayan Pal Rawat from Pruthala, Randhir Singh from Pundri, Gokul Setia from Sirsa, Rakesh Daulatabad from Badshahpur and Ranjit Singh from Independent from Rania. All these candidates have won a decisive edge on their respective assembly seats.
Both Congress and BJP were taken by surprise when BJP rebel Balraj Kundu announced that he would contest the election as an independent candidate. Kundu was the president of Rohtak Zilla Parishad. He had resigned in the hope of getting a ticket from BJP. The party gave the ticket to Shamsher Singh Kharkhara in his place. Shamsher has contested from here twice, facing Anand Singh Dangi of the Congress.
Rakesh Daulatabad, contesting from Badshahpur, lost the elections in the 2009 and 2014 elections by a close margin. He has contested elections as an independent candidate and once as a candidate of the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD).
Nayan Pal Rawat, a candidate from Pruthala, is also a rebel of the BJP. He is a well-known name in his Assembly constituency. He opened the front after the party denied him the ticket from his preferred seat.
Similarly, Randhir Singh from Pundri and Gokul Setia from Gokul are rebels of the BJP.
Independent candidate Ranjit Singh from Rania belongs to the Chautala family. When the Congress refused to give him a ticket, he tried his hand in the electoral fray as an independent candidate.
JJP’s six approaches to power in Haryana
Meanwhile, JJP sources claim that it is considering going with both the options Congress and BJP. Following are the formulae that the JJP is working on.
First, whether the BJP or the Congress forms the Haryana government eventually, both must need Dushyant Chautala on their side.
Second, if the JJP does not get the post of chief minister, important ministerial posts (including that of deputy chief minister) may be obtained, thus making Chautala a big participant in the government.
Third, the JJP will decide to go with the Congress or the BJP depending on who promises to fulfil its demands.
Fourth, the BJP and INLD governments have already been formed in Haryana, so the JJP has no objection to going with the BJP, but if it gets a good offer from the Congress, there is a possibility of going with the Congress.
Fifth, the JJP will take a decision keeping in mind the sentiments of its core support base (especially Jat voters).
Sixth, the JJP’s decision to support the BJP or the Congress will depend also on the chief ministerial face of both parties. In other words, may the Congress or the BJP declare its chief minister only in consultation with Chautala.