Chandigarh: In a development that could help ruling Congress ahead of the Haryana Assembly polls, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has decided to part ways with Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) led by former chief minister Om Prakash Chautala.
The BJP, whose state leadership had strongly objected to the alliance with the INLD last year after the two parties went separate ways in 2004, has been unhappy with the number of seats being offered by INLD to them for the polls.
BJP leader Vijay Goel said, “We have decided to go it alone in Haryana.”
Downplaying the development, Om Prakash Chautala said, “We are together and there are no such issues from our side.”
Asked whether he had received any signal from the BJP he said, “Neither have we received any indication nor has there been any talk regarding this”.
INLD state unit president Ashok Arora said, “If BJP had issues with seat-sharing, these could have been sorted out. We never had any problem with them. It is they who have raised issues. We still consider them our ally.”
A senior state BJP leader said INLD wanted to contest nearly 60 seats in the 90-member Assembly. “We cannot always play second fiddle,” he said, indicating the decision was taken at the three-day ‘Chintan Baithak´ of the BJP at Shimla last week.
This is the second time that the INLD-BJP have parted ways in the last five years. The alliance, which ruled the state for five years from 1999 onwards, had collapsed in 2004 following serious differences between Chautala and state BJP leaders.
The graph of the two parties in state politics has been on the decline in the past few years. In the 2004 LS polls, INLD was completely routed while BJP could manage to win just one seat (Sonepat).
In 2005 Assembly polls, Congress came back to power with an overwhelming majority bagging 67 of the 90 seats while INLD could manage to win just nine, even less than the Independents who won 10 seats. The BJP, which had fought all 90 seats independently, managed to win just two seats.
In the 2009 parliamentary polls, the INLD-BJP combine faced a total rout, with Congress retaining nine seats. One seat went to Haryana Janhit Congress candidate and former chief minister Bhajan Lal. The coalition could only secure merely 28.59% votes.