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regular-article-logo Saturday, 22 June 2024

Haryana: BJP govt suffers ‘political blow’ as 3 Independent MLAs cross over to Cong

All three MLAs — Sombir Sangwan, Randhir Gollen and Dharampal Gonder — are BJP rebels and had won the Assembly elections defeating the official party candidates

J.P. Yadav, Anita Joshua New Delhi Published 08.05.24, 05:13 AM
Nayab Singh Saini.

Nayab Singh Saini. File Photo

The BJP on Tuesday suffered a “political blow” in Haryana with three Independent MLAs withdrawing support to the Nayab Singh Saini government and crossing over to the Congress.

All three MLAs — Sombir Sangwan, Randhir Gollen and Dharampal Gonder — are BJP rebels and had won the Assembly elections defeating the official party candidates.

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While announcing that they would support the Congr­ess in the Lok Sabha elections, the three said their decision was guided by a host of issues, including that of farmers.

The move left the less than two-month-old government hovering below the halfway point with 43 MLAs in a house of 88. The BJP has 40 MLAs and enjoys the support of three more Independents. The total strength of the Haryana Assembly is 90 but two seats are vacant at present.

The BJP leaders said there was “no threat” to their government. They claimed “tacit support” from at least four more MLAs of the Jannayak Janata Party (JJP), taking their strength in the Assembly to 47.

However, they acknowledged that the development came as a “political blow” with the Lok Sabha polls in the state due on May 25 and the Assembly polls later this year. Party insiders fear a challenge in the state because of simmering farmer anger.

The BJP had broken its alliance with the JJP in March this year and foisted Saini (a Lok Sabha MP) as the new chief minister, replacing incumbent Manohar Lal Khattar.

The Congress demanded the government should step down immediately and the President’s rule be imposed since it was still short of numbers. They argued that the government had lost the moral right to be in office.

“Public opinion is now against the government,” former chief minister and Congress leader Bhupinder Singh Hooda told ANI.

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