The fear of local BJP-unit is that INLD has better presence on the ground and the state BJP, instead, is going through a leadership crisis.
Seema Sindhu | July 18, 2014
In the past two days, events in Delhi have once again evoked speculation of rift between the national leadership of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the local leadership in Haryana over the party's alliance with Haryana Janhit Congress (HJC).
On Wednesday, the local leadership of Haryana BJP, including the state president Ram Bilas Sharma, Jagdish Mukhi, Anil Jain, Krishanpal Gujjar and OP Dhankar met the national party president Amit Shah. Although it is being painted as a preparatory meeting ahead of the state elections, it is learnt that it revolved around the alliance with Kuldeep Bishnoi-led HJC.
On Thursday, Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal and Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) supremo OP Chautala met union home minister Rajnath Singh raising speculation of increasing proximity between BJP and INLD. Badal had come to meet Singh to register his protest against a separate Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) Bill recently passed by the Haryana government lead by Bhupinder Singh Hooda.
Badal family had openly defied BJP's alliance with HJC in Lok Sabha elections and has close ties with the Chautalas. In fact during Lok Sabha elections Badals were a spoilsport in the BJP-HJC alliance with Sukhbir Badal himself coming down to Sirsa and canvassing for the INLD candidate Charanjeet Singh.
A person in know of the matter told Governance Now that while the top leadership at the centre is not happy with Bishnoi's conditions for assembly elections, the state leadership is trying hard to keep the status quo fearing the clout of Chautalas and the henchman style politics of it.
HJC lost both its seats in Hisar and Sirsa constituencies to INLD, with the BJP winning seven seats riding on the Modi wave. Most humiliating was Bishnoi losing to OP Chautala's grandson Digvijay Chautala in Hisar, making him the youngest MP in Parliament at the age of 26. The poor show by the HJC has sent jitters in the national leadership of BJP. But the state unit is insisting on going with HJC for the fear of the top leadership's soft corner for its old ally INLD. The local leadership fears an alliance with INLD because of its dominating factor.
Before Lok Sabha elections too, the wedding between HJC and BJP survived on delicate lines till the end as the who’s who of BJP at centre were learnt to be favouring a tie up with INLD rather than HJC. Vankaiah Naidu himself was learnt to have told the state leadership to prepare to go with INLD and when the local leaders protested, Naidu was learnt to be saying "pooch nhi rahe, bata rahe hai".
But sources say the BJP didn't take a chance because of the job recruitment corruption charges against Sr. Chautala putting him behind the bars — Kejriwal being a deterrent amid the corruption charges. But now post Lok Sabha the ground realities are different. Kejriwal's Aam Admi party (AAP) scores a cipher and Kuldeep lost both his party seats. Meanwhile, sources say that it is important to have a strong Jat as the leader of alliance to de-throne Hooda from the chair. And currently the Jat vote bank seems to be swinging towards Chautala on sympathy-wave and anti-incumbency.
BJP had not won a single Lok Sabha seat in the past decade and this is the reason that five out of seven of its Lok Sabha candidates were Congress or other party turncoats. The fear of local BJP-unit is that INLD has better presence on the ground and the state BJP, instead, is going through a leadership crisis.
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