Dushyant Chautala Says Party Intact After Split With BJP

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'No MLA Quit': Dushyant Chautala Says Party Intact After Split With BJP

New Delhi:

Dushyant Chautala on Wednesday told NDTV no member of the Jannayak Janata Party had quit following the split with the Bharatiya Janata Party in Haryana, which cost his party a place in the ruling alliance and Mr Chautala the Deputy Chief Minister’s chair.

He indicated the BJP-JJP rift was a result of disagreements over a Lok Sabha seat-share deal, but stressed the JJP cadre remains committed to ensuring the success of the party – in the April/May Lok Sabha election and the Assembly poll later this year.

“I just want one to make one clear statement on all of this… we were discussing seat-share deals in the NDA (the BJP-led national alliance). There were four rounds of meetings in Delhi… in the end we could not agree on the numbers, so the JJP expressed its views. We told the BJP will not contest any Lok Sabha seat with them, but said we need to finalise the Assembly deal,” Mr Chautala told NDTV.

“I think after that the BJP took its decision – that the Chief Minister will resign and a new government will be formed. We decided we would not be part of this government,” he explained.

Mr Chautala said the decision was taken “as a cadre… as a party” that wanted to go out and win every Lok Sabha seat; Haryana has 10, all of which were won by the BJP in the last election. He said he also told the BJP the two parties also needed to sit down and plan for the Assembly election.

What Happened In Haryana?

Ten days ago Mr Chautala was the Deputy Chief Minister and his JJP was a key member of the BJP-led state government. That changed over a whirlwind 48 hours; discord over a Lok Sabha seat-share deal led to the BJP pulling the plug – Chief Minister ML Khattar (and the cabinet) quit – and re-forming the government with Nayab Singh Saini at the head, with support from independent lawmakers.

And then there was the JJP’s whip, which directed its 10 MLAs to abstain from a test of the new government’s strength. The whip was seen by some as a calculated move to ensure the new government passed its test, since abstention made it easier for the party to pass the majority mark.

There was also buzz the JJP’s Assembly strength of 10 MLAs would be cut right down the middle, with reports one half had quit to side with the BJP and the other had stuck by Mr Chautala.

The flux in Haryana’s political landscape played out against talk the BJP cut its former ally lose to destabilise the opposition INDIA bloc – to force a division of Jat community votes between the two parties – before the Lok Sabha election in April/May and the Assembly election later this year.

Mr Chautala, who maintained radio silence during the split, later issued a diplomatic comment, thanking the people for their support and promising to continue working for the state.

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