Haryana Assembly Polls: Congress accuses BJP of 'illegitimately' luring MLAs
"The BJP has no right to form a government. Defections are coming to play with allurements of money and power and of positions in government by the BJP. This has become the sole criterion for forming a government in Haryana,", said Congress after several independent MLAs flew down to Delhi to meet BJP leaders.
Haryana on Thursday ended up with a hung assembly with the ruling BJP emerging as the largest party with 40 seats, but still six short of the halfway mark needed to form the next government. On the other hand, Congress won 31 seats, short of 15 seats to claim the majority. This split verdict meant that Dushyant Chautala's Jananayak Janata Party and the independent MLAs would become crucial to the forming of the state government.
In this situation, since Thursday evening itself, Haryana witnessed hectic political activity; two independents, Gopal Kanda and Ranjeet Singh, boarded a chartered flight to Delhi for a meeting with BJP leadership. While Somveer Singh told PTI that he will support the BJP government.
(MLAs Gopal Kanda and Ranjeet Singh on their way to Delhi.)
Both BJP and Congress had said that they'll stake claim to form the government, but with lesser deficit BJP is in a more comfortable position to do so. Now Congress claims that BJP is using allurements of money and power to get a majority and says that a government formed through such means would be "illegitimate".
On Friday morning the action shifted to Delhi with Haryana Chief Minister M L Khattar and his Congress rival Bhupinder Singh Hooda in the city to strategise on the formation of a government.
In an important development, former minister and independent Sirsa MLA Gopal Kanda claimed he and the Independents have "decided to extend unconditional support to the BJP".
Lashing out at the BJP for taking Kanda's support, Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala told reporters, "I think you should look at the statements made by Narendra Modi and Amit Shah at the time when Gopal Kanda was a minister in the (Congress) government in Haryana when we forced him to resign and also removed him from ministership."
"What was the stance of the BJP then and what sort of doublespeak is the BJP doing today," he said, accusing the saffron party of displaying "hunger for power".
"The Bharatiya Janata Party has been decisively rejected and those who said they will get a 75-seat mandate have not even touched the majority mark, Surjewala added.
Asked about the narrow margins of the defeat of some Congress candidates and recounting at some seats in Haryana, Surjewala said, "We all knew how the ruling dispensation used money and muscle power and the entire machinery to help certain candidates. And the medium of recounting was used to defeat four-five Congress candidates.
"Whatever they may do, finally democracy has prevailed and democracy has spoken. BJP has not been given the mandate to rule. Any government that the BJP forms will be an illegitimate and illegally constituted government," he added.
On whether the Congress is making efforts to form the government, Surjewala said Haryana Congress chief Kumari Selja and BS Hooda would take a call and only they can comment on it.
(With inputs from PTI)