BJP breaks from INLD, to contest all Haryana assembly seats

Last Updated: Monday, August 24, 2009 - 21:54

Chandigarh: After a wipe out of the alliance
in the Lok Sabha elections, BJP on Monday severed its ties with
INLD and said it was going it alone in the assembly polls, a
development that could help Congress in its gamble of going in
for early polls.

Accusing INLD of adopting a "rigid and tough" stance on
seat sharing, BJP General Secretary Vijay Goel told a press
conference here that his party will contest all the 90 seats.

The break in the alliance came in less than a year of
their coming together.

"INLD did not see the ground realities. They were adamant
on seat sharing as per their whims. They adopted a stubborn
attitude and did not agree to the seat sharing as per ground
realities," Goel, who is also incharge of Haryana, said.

Though he did not specify the number of seats the party
wanted in its share from INLD, he hinted at demanding 45 seats
saying the BJP and INLD had got the top spot in seven assembly
segments each during the Lok Sabha poll.

Asked about snapping of the alliance in less than a year,
Goel said, "We had said earlier itself that if there are
hurdles in the alliance (during the assembly elections) we are
capable to contest alone."

The 90-member Haryana assembly was dissolved on Friday
night, seven months ahead of its term after Congress sensed it
could cash in on its show in the Lok Sabha polls where it won
nine of the ten seats.

This is the second time in the last five years that the
two parties have split. The alliance which ruled the state for
five years from 1999 had collapsed in 2004 following serious
differences among their leaders.

In the dissolved assembly, Congress had 63 members, INLD
eight, and one each from BJP, BSP and NCP. While there were 10
independents, six seats were vacant.

On the opposition expressed earlier by the state unit to
the BJP alliance with INLD before Lok Sabha polls, Goel said
the party went for the alliance then as there were chances of
NDA providing an alternative to the Congress at the Centre.

"But in the Lok Sabha elections the alliance, which
fought the 10 seats among themselves, failed to win even one
seat. We had a bitter experience on seat sharing, but despite
that we contested as allies. We kept our promise," he said,
adding if the alliance had worked it would have been better.

Asked if INLD was out of the NDA, he parried a direct
reply saying "this question should be asked to the national
leadership."

However, downplaying the development, INLD Secretary
General and MP Ajay Chautala said, "there has been no problem
from our side. The seat sharing is not an issue."

He said BJP has taken a unilateral decision and not
communicated them anything.

Goel said Congress will be BJP`s main rival in the polls
and added that it has to be routed from the state. Price rise,
especially steep hike in the prices of various commodities,
would be the main issues during campaign, he said.

He said the state government has failed to tackle the
shortage of power and water. Law and order has worsened and
corruption is at its peak, he said.

Goel also charged the state government with spending
crores of rupees on advertisements in the newspapers and
making a mockery of the model code of conduct.

INLD state president Ashok Arora said, "It is their (BJP)
wish. They have a problem, but things could have been sorted
out mutually. We never had any problem with them. It is they
who have raised issues. We still consider them our ally."

Recently appointed State BJP chief Krishan Pal Gujjar,
who was once a known critic of INLD chief Om Prakash Chautala,
said "we cannot always play second fiddle".

The development is being viewed as a serious setback
to INLD, which has been jolted by a series of desertions,
especially by its senior leaders including former minister
Sampat Singh, in recent weeks.

The breaking of the alliance a few weeks before the
assembly elections can benefit the Congress which already is
in an upbeat mood due to the success it got in the recent Lok
Sabha election in the state.

On if the development will help Congress, its state unit
Working President Kuldeep Sharma said "the INLD-BJP have lost
their vote bank. They were never a threat put together and we
were not perturbed when they had rejoined hands earlier."

He said "people of Haryana have never accepted the
(INLD-BJP) alliance".

The graph of the two parties in state politics has been
on the decline in the past few years.

In the 2004 Lok Sabha polls, INLD was routed while BJP
could manage to win just one seat (Sonepat).

In 2005 Assembly polls, Congress bounced back to power
with an overwhelming majority and continued with its winning
streak in the 2009 parliamentary polls.

A meeting of Political Affairs Committee (PAC) of Indian
National Lok Dal will be held here on August 27 to discuss
among other issues the breaking of alliance by the BJP ahead
of the assembly elections in Haryana.

President of the INLD Haryana unit Ashok Arora said here
today that the party was capable of contesting the elections
on its own

The PAC meeting will be presided over by party chief Om
Parkash Chautala, who will review current political situation
and party`s preparedness for the assembly polls.

He said that the party in a letter to Chief Election
Commissioner and the Chief Electoral Officer of Haryana has
demanded a thorough probe into what the INLD described as
bogus enrollment of voters in the state by Congress.

Around 10.91 lakh new voters have been enrolled without
following the set procedure, including conducting an enquiry
regarding the applicant, the INLD alleged.

BJP after failing to get the desired number of seats
from its ally the INLD for the forthcoming assembly elections
and the failure of the alliance to win a single seat in the
recent Lok Sabha poll, snapped its ties with INLD and decided
to contest on its own all the 90 seats.

Bureau Report



First Published: Monday, August 24, 2009 - 21:54

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