BJP now bets on Haryana in the upcoming polls

Gurgaon: In Haryana, BJP may spring a surprise by nominating a young face for the chief ministership – even stunning political foes. Supremely confident after the parliamentary election, BJP strategists are working on winning game plans, which includes young and impeccable candidates.

As the grapevine has it, Union Minister Rao Inderjit Singh is a leading contender for the Chief Minister’s post. A former Congressman who defected to BJP before the April elections, his proximity to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his popularity in his home constituency of Gurgaon make him the most likely candidate.

But BJP has other candidates, too. The State unit president Ram Bilash Sharma is an acceptable candidate with wide experience in organisational matters. Spokesperson Captain Abhimanyu Singh has amicable relationship with the party members. Also, party’s Kisan Morcha president Om Prakash Dhankhar is also among the contenders.

BJP’s aggressive game – on seat sharing, alliance and chief ministership – is certain in the upcoming Haryana assembly elections. One also can’t rule out the possibility of the saffron party going solo for the ‘Mission 46’. Riding high on the hopping victory in the recently concluded General elections, BJP in the guidance of its modern Chanakya – Amit Shah – is set to dictate the terms.

There seems to be no end to the seat sharing tussle for BJP in Haryana. BJP’s three-year-old alliance with Haryana Janhit Congress (HJC) is under strain in the run up to the Assembly election in the State due in October.

According to a highly placed source in BJP, the party is working on a 75-15 seat sharing plan with Kuldeep Bishnoi-led HJC, which remains defiant and has asked BJP to adhere to the 45-45 seat sharing formula and two-and-a-half-year Chief Ministership arrangement, an announcement made when the alliance was sealed in 2012.

However, BJP, asking Bishnoi for a merger, has reportedly asked him to accept a new sharing formula of 75-15 and has also turned down Bishnoi’s demand for Chief Ministership.

But in the changed political circumstances, the 2012 agreement between BJP and HJC seems irrelevant and deserves a ‘necessary amendment’. Reason being the result of the just-held Lok Sabha election.

The general elections witnessed a paradigm shift in Haryana politics. BJP fought the election in an alliance with HJC. While BJP – which never in history tasted such grand victory in the state – contested on 8 seats and won seven as a result of an apparent “Modi Wave”, Bishnoi’s HJC lost both the seats it contested on.

While BJP-HJC alliance’s fate is hanging in balance, BJP has other options which it can explore.

First, if HJC doesn’t relent, BJP can go in an alliance with Om Prakash Chautala’s Indian National Lok Dal (INLD). INLD has given its outside support to NDA in Lok Sabha. Moreover, NDA’s oldest ally SAD shares positive vibes with the INLD and has pitched for a BJP-INLD alliance.

Second, BJP can explore the option of a grand alliance in order to smoothly dethrone Bhupinder Singh Hooda-led Congress Government. But such an option is highly unlikely because HJC and INLD won’t share a common platform.

While exploring the above options, BJP, in no way, will either compromise its self-esteem or the Chief Minister’s chair.

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