New Delhi: The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Haryana, led by Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar, won 40 seats but failed to cross the halfway mark in the 90-member Assembly. Arch-rival Congress staged a comeback by logging victory on 31 seats, the Jannayak Janata Party (JJP) got 10 seats, the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) could get just one seat, while others managed to grab eight seats.
Haryana ended up with a hung assembly on Thursday with the BJP falling short of six seats to form the next government. However, speculations are rife that Dushyant Chautala's JJP, which eyes on the kingmaker's role in deciding on Haryana's fate, might lend support to BJP and sources also said that he will be given a prominent position if a coalition government is formed.
On the other hand, it is being said that the BJP may also approach the independent candidates to join hands with the party to prove majority to form a government.
Thus, as of now, the saffron party has two options - either join hands with the JJP or ask the independent candidates to lend support.
On Thursday night, Home Minister Amit Shah and other BJP leaders met Chautala in New Delhi to chalk out a strategy. Khattar was also summoned to Delhi soon after the election results were announced.
Delhi: BJP Working President JP Nadda, Party Haryana In-charge Anil Jain, & B L Santhosh leave from the residence of Party President Amit Shah, after holding a meeting. pic.twitter.com/jSblpKafp0
— ANI (@ANI) October 24, 2019
Meanwhile, the Congress too is leaving no stone unturned to form the next government in Haryana. Former CM Bhupinder Singh Hooda has urged all non-BJP parties to come together to form a coalition government in the state.
B S Hooda, Congress: People of Haryana have given their mandate against the BJP state government. All the parties who got mandate against BJP, be it INLD, JJP, Congress, independents or some other party, should come together and form a strong government. #HaryanaAssemblyPolls pic.twitter.com/oCDN9tv6ER
— ANI (@ANI) October 24, 2019
Here, if the Congress is able to convince JJP and the independents, the next government would be theirs.
In the early trends on Thursday, it seemed that the voters decided to go with BJP again. However, soon, the tables turned.
BJP had a dismal show in Haryana, where, in 2014, it had bagged 47 seats. Also, eight ministers, except two, lost the polls along with party chief Subhash Barala. The outgoing ministers - Captain Abhimanyu, OP Dhankar, Ram Bilas Sharma, Kavita Jain, Krishan Lal Panwar, Manish Grover, Karan Dev Kamboj and Krishan Kumar Bedi - all suffered defeats.
Khattar, however, retained his Karnal seat with a comfortable margin.
Sitting Congress legislator Kuldeep Bishnoi retained his stronghold of Adampur by defeating his nearest rival and TikTok celebrity Sonali Phogat of the BJP by 29,471 votes.
BJP candidate and former Indian hockey captain Sandeep Singh defeated Congress' Mandeep Chatha in Pehowa. This was the BJP's first win in the constituency.
While BJP candidate and international wrestler Yogeshwar Dutt faced defeat, another of its candidates, wrestler Babita Phogat, emerged third in the Dadri constituency in Bhiwani.
Haryana voted on October 21, along with Maharashtra, where BJP-Shiv Sena alliance will form the next government.