Congress seeks dismissal of BJP govt, fresh polls in Haryana

The Congress on Wednesday sought the imposition of President's Rule followed by fresh polls in Haryana after three Independent MLAs withdrew support to the BJP dispensation, reducing the Nayab Singh Saini government to a minority in the state assembly.
Haryana Congress chief Udai Bhan
Haryana Congress chief Udai Bhan

Chandigarh | The Congress on Wednesday sought the imposition of President's Rule followed by fresh polls in Haryana after three Independent MLAs withdrew support to the BJP dispensation, reducing the Nayab Singh Saini government to a minority in the state assembly.

The party said it would write to Haryana Governor Bandaru Dattatreya to demand that the BJP government be dismissed. It also asked the JJP, the INLD and Independent MLA Balraj Kundu to write similar letters to the governor to give credence to their claim of opposing the BJP.

Talking to reporters in Sirsa on Wednesday, Haryana CM Nayab Singh Saini asserted that his government was not in trouble and was working strongly.

"We are going to write to the Governor that three Independent MLAs have withdrawn support and they have extended support to our party... the government is in the minority and they have no right to stay in power. We will demand that the government be dismissed, President's Rule be imposed and fresh elections be held," Haryana Congress chief Udai Bhan said.

"Likewise, the JJP should also write a letter that the government be dismissed. INLD's Abhay Singh Chautala and Independent MLA Balraj Kundu, who claim to be opposing the government, should also write similar letters to the Governor," he added.

Bhan said the three Independent MLAs have already written to the Governor regarding their withdrawal of support.

Senior Congress leader B B Batra said the Jannayak Janta Party (JJP), once an ally of the BJP in the state, should write to the Governor making it clear that they were not supporting the dispensation.

On Tuesday, JJP leader Digvijay Singh Chautala said Leader of Opposition Bhupinder Singh Hooda should initiate the process to "bring down" the Nayab Singh Saini government "which has lost the trust of people".

Reacting to Chautala's statement, Batra said, "Let the JJP write a letter to the Governor stating that they are not supporting the BJP government... We may know this fact (that JJP is not supporting them) but let them give a letter stating the same.

"Like the three Independent MLAs wrote a letter to Governor stating they have withdrawn their support... The JJP should also do this," he said.

The three Independent MLAs -- Sombir Sangwan (Dadri), Randhir Singh Gollen (Pundri) and Dharampal Gonder (Nilokheri) -- on Tuesday withdrew support to the BJP government in Haryana and announced they would back the Congress.

Saini had replaced Manohar Lal Khattar as chief minister in March and the JJP's four-and-a-half-year-old post-poll alliance with BJP had come to an end with Deputy Chief Minister Dushyant Chautala saying they will not be part of the new government headed by Saini.

BJP's Jawahar Yadav said there was no danger to the BJP government in the state.

He said the Saini government won a trust vote on March 13 and if it has to prove its majority on the floor of the House, it will do so.

The government which has the support of two other Independents is now two short of the majority mark in the 90-member House which has a current strength of 88.

Among the three Independent MLAs who withdrew their support, Gollen fought as an Independent and defeated Congress party's Satbir Bhana in the 2019 Haryana assembly polls.

He had unsuccessfully fought the 2014 assembly polls on a BJP ticket. He had remained chairman of the Haryana Tourism Corporation.

Gonder defeated BJP nominee Bhagwan Das Kabirpanthi from the Nilokheri seat in the 2019 assembly polls. He had remained the chairman of the Haryana Forest Development Corporation.

Sangwan won the Dadri assembly seat by defeating JJP nominee Satpal Sangwan in the previous assembly elections. He had unsuccessfully contested the 2014 assembly polls.

In recent days, some JJP MLAs have hinted at supporting the BJP. The BJP has 40 MLAs, the Congress 30 and the JJP 10 in the House. If the opposition seeks a no-confidence motion in the state assembly, the BJP may need JJP MLAs to abstain.

As the intervening period between holding two assembly sessions should not be more than six months, the governor will have to summon the House before September 13.

State Assembly polls in Haryana are due in October while the Karnal Assembly bypoll is scheduled for May 25 along with voting to the 10 Lok Sabha seats in Haryana.

Saini, the MP from Kurukshetra in the outgoing Lok Sabha, is the BJP candidate for the bypolls and if he wins, the party's strength in the Assembly will rise to 41.

The Saini-led BJP government in Haryana on March 13 won the trust vote by a voice vote in the House after he took oath as the new chief minister replacing Khattar.

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