Haryana: BJP-Congress wrestle it out. Who will be the kingmaker?
The northern state of Haryana is witnessing a nail-biting competition as early trends have not given a clear majority to BJP, which hoped for a second straight win. Performing better than expected, Congress took a lead on 29 of 90 assembly seats, and BJP on 40. The Jananayak Janata Party (JJP) was leading on 10 seats at the time of the press.
Will Khattar return as CM?
Haryana went into polls on October 21, along with the western state of Maharashtra. BJP, which constantly spoke about policies of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the decision to rescind Article 370 during electioneering, is hoping to win a second straight term. Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar had set a target of 75 seats and had expressed confidence in achieving it.
Dushyant Chautala holds keys for Haryana's Assembly
Had BJP taken a lead on 45+ seats, it would have been obvious that it will form the government. But since that isn't the case, the saffron party will need support from other parties. There's a strong buzz that JJP will become the "kingmaker". As per reports, Dushyant Chautala of JJP reached out to Congress seeking a CM post, in exchange for post-poll alliance.
Chautala mocked Khattar's target earlier in the day
#WATCH Jannayak Janata Party (JJP) leader Dushyant Chautala in Jind: Haryana ki janta ka pyar mil raha hai. Badlaav ki nishaani hai. 75 paar toh fail hogaya (for BJP), ab Yamuna paar karne ki baari hai. #HaryanaAssemblyPolls pic.twitter.com/ufdyqtkqLz— ANI (@ANI) October 24, 2019
Separately, Hooda ensured Congress stays in the fight
The trends from Haryana show Congress should have brought in Bhupinder Singh Hooda into the picture months ago. The former CM, who is quite aware of ground realities and enjoys a fan following, managed to turn tides into Congress' favor. He took on Khattar head-on, spoke about the failures of the state government, and raised local issues. The numbers hint voters connected with him.