Why Haryana stunned BJP, rekindled hopes for Congress and made Dushyant Chautala kingmaker
Haryana has thrown a divided mandate in the 2019 elections with no clear winner
There several factors such as the Jat anger, unemployment and farm distress, that went bad for BJP
Congress and JJP on the other hand emerged as significant contenders to power
Haryana voters left the Bharatiya Janta Party stunned on Thursday. The results left the ruling BJP well short of a majority. Anti-incumbency factor and anger among the Jat community nearly cost Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar his job.
On the other hand, despite all odds, Bhupinder Singh Hooda nearly pulled it off for the Congress while Dushyant Chautala emerged as the showstopper. His 11-month-old Jannayak Janta Party (JJP) managed to outshine bitter rival INLD.
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WHAT WENT WRONG FOR BJP
Though it looks like BJP will manage to return to power with the support of its rebel leaders now elected as independent MLAs, a number of factors contributed to the party failing to realise its ‘Abki Baar 75 Paar’ mission for the 2019 Haryana assembly elections.
1. Jat anger took its toll
BJP fell short of a majority due to anger among Jat voters against the state government. Failure to provide reservation to the community and pending cases against those booked during past agitations further fueled the pent up anger. The Jat community had voted wholeheartedly for BJP during the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, resulting in a clean sweep. But this time BJP had fielded 20 Jat candidates and only four of them managed to win. Even BJP state unit president Subhash Barala, a prominent Jat leader, suffered a humiliating defeat in Barwala constituency.
2. Khattar cabinet stumped
Anti-incumbency and failure to perform in the past five years took a heavy toll on the ministers. Out of the 10 members of Khattar cabinet, including the chief minister himself, only three have won. Khattar managed to win in Karnal city constituency while his cabinet colleague Anil Vij won from Ambala Cantt. Minister of State Banwari also won but number two in the cabinet, Capt Abhimanyu who is the Finance Minister in the Khattar government has lost. Other heavyweights like Ram Bilas Sharma, OP Dhankhad, Anita Jain, Krishan Bedi, Manish Grover have also lost.
3. No show in five districts
BJP couldn’t win a single seat in five Haryana districts. In Sirsa, Rohtak, Jhajjar, Dadri and Mewat, the party failed to open its account. Home turf of the Chautalas, Sirsa was never a BJP stronghold. The party won Rohtak in Lok Sabha elections but Congress and former CM Hooda proved his hold over the city this time. BJP experimented by fielding popular Muslim faces in Mewat but given the anger over the mob lynching of Pehlu Khan, this gamble never stood a chance.
4. Poor show in ‘CM City’ Karnal
Karnal, which enjoyed the tag of being the ‘CM City’, has ditched BJP this time. The party managed to win only two out of five seats. Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar won his Karnal city seat while the party managed to win Gharonda and Indri but it lost in Nilokheri and Indri. In 2014, BJP had won all of these five seats.
5. Sirsa and the Gurmeet Ram Rahim factor
The anger among Dera Sacha Sauda supporters in Sirsa has dented BJP’s prospects here. Firing on Dera followers during the 2017 sentencing of Gurmeet Ram Rahim in Panchkula and the Dera chief being jailed made his key aides keep Dera voters away from BJP. BJP failed to open its account in Sirsa which also witnessed violent clashes after Ram Rahim’s sentencing.