Bhajan Lal`s son allies with BJP in Haryana

BJP pipped Congress in wooing former Haryana CM Bhajan Lal`s son Kuldeep Bishnoi when his Haryana Janhit Congress forged an alliance with the party ahead of the by-election to his father`s Lok Sabha constituency Hissar.

Updated: Sep 10, 2011, 21:38 PM IST

New Delhi: BJP on Saturday pipped Congress in
wooing former Haryana Chief Minister Bhajan Lal`s son Kuldeep
Bishnoi when his Haryana Janhit Congress forged an alliance
with the party ahead of the by-election to his father`s Lok
Sabha constituency Hissar.

BJP President Nitin Gadkari and Leader of the Opposition
in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj welcomed the alliance with Bishnoi
at a function held in the party headquarters here.
"I am happy that we are forming an alliance with Haryana
Janhit Congress in Haryana... BJP will support the HJC
candidate in forthcoming Hissar by-elections. We will also
have an alliance in the next Assembly elections and the Lok
Sabha polls. A good beginning is being made today," Gadkari
said.

Bishnoi is likely to contest from Hissar, where
by-elections will be held on October 13. The seat fell vacant
after the death of Bhajan Lal in June.

He was also being wooed by Congress which wanted him in
the party to win the support of Bhajan Lal loyalists as well
as widen its support base among non-Jat votes. Ajay Singh
Chautala (INLD) is likely to contest against him.

Swaraj declared this marks a "new chapter" in Haryana
politics and is a culmination of talks which had been going on
for some time.

"In Assembly elections, each of the two parties
will contest half of the seats while in Lok Sabha polls, BJP
will put up candidates for eight seats and HJC for two seats.
In case, we form a government in the state, HJC will rule for
the first two and a half years and BJP for the remaining two
and a half," Swaraj said.
There will also be a deputy Chief Minister from the
other party.

Bishnoi, whose party`s all the five MLAs left him and
joined Congress, assured BJP that this alliance will be
long-lasting.

"BJP is a national party and HJC a regional party. We
need its blessings as a younger brother. This alliance was
very much needed to fight the corruption rampant in INLD and
Congress," he said.

BJP`s courtship of Bishnoi goes back to the 2009 assembly
elections when the party had tried to forge an alliance with
Haryana Janhit Congress. However, the talks had failed when
Bishnoi reportedly asked for more seats than BJP was willing
to concede.

Bishnoi was suspended from Congress in 2007 when he had
criticised party president Sonia Gandhi and general secretary
Rahul Gandhi. He formed Haryana Janhit Congress with his
father in December 2007. This led to Bhajan Lal`s expulsion
from Congress.

His alliance with BJP is another attempt to revive his
fortunes particularly after the desertion of several key
Janhit Congress leaders and the MLAs. By contesting from
Hissar, he hopes to inherit his father`s political legacy.

BJP hardly has a presence in Haryana and was looking for
an alliance in the state. Its earlier attempt to align with Om
Prakash Chautala-led INLD had come to a nought during the 2009
Lok Sabha polls.

The BJP-HJC alliance may still be only the third most
potent political force in the state after Congress and INLD.

PTI