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Former BJP ally Dushyant Chautala writes letter to Haryana governor seeking 'immediate floor test'

Three Independent MLAs withdrew support and sided with Opposition Congress, leaving Saini government teetering on brink of minority status

J.P. Yadav New Delhi Published 10.05.24, 05:27 AM
Dushyant Chautala in Hisar on Thursday

Dushyant Chautala in Hisar on Thursday PTI picture

BJP’s former ally Dushyant Chautala on Thursday wrote a letter to the Haryana governor seeking an “immediate floor test”, asserting that the Nayab Singh Saini government has lost majority in the Assembly.

Three Independent MLAs on Tuesday withdrew support and sided with the Opposition Congress, leaving the Saini government teetering on the brink of a minority status.


The sudden development has shaken the political stability of Haryana in the middle of the general election and a few months ahead of the Assembly polls in the state.

“It is evident that the BJP government in Haryana no longer commands a majority,” Chautala, who heads the Jannayak Janta Party (JJP), said in his letter to governor Bandaru Dattatreya. “I urge you to direct the appropriate authority to immediately call for a floor test to determine the majority of the government,” he said in the letter.

Chautala, who shared power with the BJP and was deputy chief minister two months ago, declared his readiness to support the Congress if it was ready to bring down the Saini government.

The BJP has 40 MLAs in the Assembly, whose effective strength is 88, but enjoys the support of two more Independents and a Haryana Lokhit Party MLA, taking their numbers to 43, a bare majority. The BJP, however, has claimed the support of four JJP MLAs to assert there is no threat to the government.

There may be no imminent threat to the Saini government and the Congress, too, doesn’t appear to be interested in going for the kill, but “anti-BJP” sentiments in the state adjoining Delhi have scarred the pitch for the saffron party.

The political disruption has come when internal reports of the BJP suggest that a repeat of 10 out of 10 seats may not be possible and the going could get tougher in the Assembly polls, likely to be held in October. Sources said if the BJP did not perform well in the Lok Sabha polls, more Independent and JJP MLAs could side with the Congress.

Bhupinder Singh Hooda, the leader of the Opposition in the Assembly and the Congress’s tallest leader in the state, sought not to take Chautala’s call for lending help to him in toppling the Saini government. Hooda said that the JJP chief should first parade his MLAs before the governor, indicating that many of them were not with him.

The Congress, which has 30 MLAs, is trying to exploit the situation to snatch some Lok Sabha seats from the BJP and prepare the ground in their favour for the Assembly polls. The Congress wants a direct fight with the BJP and would like to portray the JJP, which draws strength mainly from Jat voters, as the “B-team of the BJP”.

The BJP had swept all the 10 Haryana Lok Sabha seats in 2019 but in the Assembly polls later in the year, the party could manage just 40 of the 90 seats. At present, two seats remain vacant. The BJP allied with the 10-member JJP led by Chautala and made him deputy chief minister to retain power in the state.

In March, the BJP replaced two-term chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar with MP Saini and snapped ties with the JJP, declaring to go alone in the Lok Sabha polls.

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