Even though the BJP has emerged as the single largest party in the Haryana Assembly election results, these results are disappointing for the party. While the party had managed to form the government with a majority in the 2014 Assembly election, this time it had to settle for 40 seats. In such a situation, the BJP is now preparing to form the government led by Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar on the strength of independent MLAs. Interestingly, five of the independents are BJP rebels, not difficult to be wooed back to the party.
Yesterday, the BJP-Shiv Sena alliance retained power in Maharashtra, though with a reduced majority in comparison to 2014. In Haryana, the BJP intends to form the next government as the single largest party that’s six seats short of a majority.
Gopal Kanda of Haryana Lokhit Party has met BJP working president JP Nadda while Ranjit Singh, who won from Rania Assembly, has openly declared his support to the BJP. Somveer Sangwan, an independent candidate from Dadri, who is in BJP, has also said to support BJP.
Sources say that other independents are supporting the BJP, too. Meanwhile, the BJP is trying to woo the JJP as well. In the BJP parliamentary party meeting held on Thursday, party president Amit Shah was authorised to take all decisions to form the government. Round after round, meetings have been continuing since last night at Shah’s house.
Following are the independent MLAs who are helping form a BJP government in Haryana again.
Ranjit Singh Chautala, who has won the Rania Assembly seat, has openly declared his support to the BJP. While Singh is considered a man of the Chautala camp, he joined the Congress shortly before the election due to some resentment. But after not getting the nomination from Congress either, he decided to contest as an independent and won. He has attributed the policies of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to his support for the Khattar government.
Haryana Lokhit Party (HLP) leader Gopal Kanda, who won from Sirsa, has openly supported the BJP. Kanda said on Friday that his family had been associated with the BJP for long. He will support the Khattar government in Haryana. Kanda defeated his nearest candidate, independent Gokul Setia, by 602 votes. Renowned Haryanvi singer Sapna Chaudhary, who recently joined the BJP, had campaigned for Kanda. Former minister Kanda is an influential political figure in Haryana. His name had grabbed news headlines for a wrong reason when a woman employee of his airline company committed suicide.
The contest in the Dadri Assembly seat has been very interesting. Somveer Singh Sangwan, who won as an independent from here, has been the first BJP leader. But a few days before the election, the BJP exuded confidence on Babita Phogat, who made a foray into politics from the field of sports and contested on the ticket that was earlier being considered for Sangwan. Irked by the denial of ticket, Sangwan contested as an independent candidate and won by about 14,000 votes while BJP’s Babita Phogat came in third.
Another rebel from BJP has registered a major victory. Independent candidate Balraj Kundu from the Mehm Assembly was from the BJP, too. Kundu was the chairman of the Zilla Parishad here. He resigned from Zilla Parishad in the hope of getting a ticket from the party. When the BJP denied him the nomination, he filled the form as an independent candidate. He defeated former Congress MLA Anand Singh Dhangi.
Neelokheri Assembly is a reserved seat. BJP’s Bhagwan Dass Kabirpanthi won from here in 2014. In this election, Kabirpanthi, along with Dharampal Gondar, claimed the ticket for this seat. But senior party leaders expressed confidence in Bhagwan Dass who had won last time. After this, Gondar filed his nomination as an independent candidate. Many BJP workers of the Nilokheri assembly were not happy with the party’s decision; they decided to support Gondar in place of Bhagwandas.
Nayanpal Rawat was another well-known face of the BJP in the Prithala Assembly, but the party did not give him a ticket. Angered by this, he contested as an independent and won. He is supporting the Khattar government.
Randhir Singh Golan is another politician of the BJP. Having an RSS background, he also enjoys a mass connect. He was high on the list of ticket contenders, but he was finally marginalised. He then contested as an independent and defeated Satbir Bhana of the Congress. Randhir said today, “BJP is my mother,” while expressing his desire to support the Khattar dispensation.
Rakesh Daulatabad is near synonymous with the INLD, but he contested the election independently when the party denied him a ticket. Daulatabad defeated BJP candidate Manish Yadav by a margin of around 10,000 votes from here, but he now wishes to support the Khattar government.