Wednesday, May 22, 2024

BJP’s Ex-Ally Dushyant Chautala, Who Sought Haryana Test Of Strength, Faces Split In Party



Dushyant Chautala, the friend-turned-foe of the BJP who is out to fell the government, should guard his flock, sources have indicated. As efforts are on to bring a no-confidence motion against the Nayab Singh Saini government after three Independent MLAs pulled support off the BJP, a handful of Mr Chautala’s MLAs met the former BJP Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar this afternoon, sources said.

The meeting took place at the residence of Minister of State Mahipal Dhanda in Panipat. Four MLAs of the Jannayak Janta Party or JJP were present for the half-hour meeting with Mr Khattar and Mr Dhanda held around 2 pm.

Sources said the leaders had discussed the current political crisis.

The host, Mr Dhanda, has refused to comment on the matter.

The BJP-led government in Haryana was plunged into crisis earlier this week as MLAs Sombir Sangwan (representing Dadri), Randhir Singh Gollen (from Pundri), and Dharampal Gonder (of Nilokheri) stopped support to the BJP government.

It was followed by a press conference by Mr Chautala where he, accompanied by senior leaders of the Congress, declared that the government has become a minority and he would provide outside support the Congress should they choose to form government.

Mr Chautala has chased it up with a letter to the Governor, demanding a floor test in the assembly. But there he ran up against a technicality — only one no-confidence motion can be brought against the government in a single assembly session. The Congress had brought a no-confidence motion in February and a floor test was held in March, during the budget session of  the assembly.

Given the next assembly session will be the monsoon session in July, the opposition’s options are limited. The Governor has been asked to seek a special session, but it would be his call. INLD MLA Abhay Singh Chautala has also written to the Governor, saying if an assembly session cannot be called, President’s Rule should immediately be imposed in the state.

Given the assembly elections are due later this year — the term of the assembly ends in November — toppling the Saini government could largely be an exercise in optics.

After the Congress asked the Governor for an appointment, the Chief Minister said the party is “in a hurry”. “Less than a month ago, we won the trust vote. Now, when the session happens, we will talk. These people (the Congress) should focus on the Lok Sabha election,” Mr Saini said.

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