Haryana Shakuntalam: BJP forgets Kanda and remembers Dushyant just in time
Amit Shah on Friday night announced a post-poll alliance with Dushyant Chautala’s Jannayak Janta Party to form the government in Haryana, with the chief minister from the BJP and the deputy chief minister from the JJP.
The BJP president made the announcement after a long meeting with Dushyant, who had emerged the kingmaker with 10 seats in the hung Assembly. The BJP won 40 seats, six short of majority in the 90-member House.
“Keeping in mind the mandate of the people, the BJP and JJP have decided to form the government together. The chief minister will be of the BJP and deputy chief minister of the JJP,” Shah said.
The BJP had scrambled to strike a deal with the JJP following public outrage against its move to court Independent MLA Gopal Kanda, who is facing trial over the suicide of airhostess Geetika Sharma in 2012.
Shah rushed back to Delhi from Ahmedabad to hold the meeting with Dushyant, the great-grandson of former deputy Prime Minister and Jat leader Devi Lal.
The BJP was initially unwilling to court the JJP leader because it would be able to form the government with support from the eight Independents. Support from the JJP would come tied to bargaining for ministerial berths and the party was not ready for that. On Thursday evening, as soon as the results were clear, the BJP reached out to the Independents.
But the outrage over Kanda, who was seen to be controlling most of the Independent MLAs, pushed the ball in JJP’s court.
“Key is still with JJP for a stable government,” Dushyant told journalists in Delhi.
“Neither the BJP nor the Congress is untouchable for us,” he added.
Kanda had arrived in Delhi by a chartered flight late on Thursday night, accompanied by the BJP’s Sirsa MP Sunita Duggal. He met BJP working president J.P. Nadda and assured him of the support of all eight Independent MLAs, the sources said.
On Friday, Kanda told journalists that he and the other Independent MLAs had decided to offer “unconditional” support to the BJP. He hailed the “good work” of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and said his father had been with the RSS.
After pictures of Kanda and Duggal on the chartered flight began circulating on Twitter, former Union minister Uma Bharati protested.
“If Kanda is the same person who led to the suicide of a girl and her mother, and faces trial... whether he is innocent or guilty, the law will decide. But his winning an election does not absolve him. Several factors are involved in a poll victory,” Uma Bharati, currently undertaking a Ganga yatra on foot, tweeted.
“I would like to request the party not to forget its moral fabric,” she added.
Social media users mocked the BJP for forgetting Modi’s “beti bachao, beti padhao” (save the girl child, educate the girl child) slogan.
The BJP then developed cold feet and party leaders denied seeking support from Kanda. Kanda, however, spoke to the media and continued to offer support and hail the leadership of Modi.