Opposition parties approach Haryana Governor, step up efforts to topple BJP govt

Haryana Chief Minister Nayab Saini addresses the media after an election rally, in Sirsa, Wednesday, May 8, 2024.
Haryana Chief Minister Nayab Saini addresses the media after an election rally, in Sirsa, Wednesday, May 8, 2024.

Chandigarh | The Congress, the JJP and the INLD have approached Governor Bandaru Dattatreya, stepping up their efforts to topple the Haryana's BJP government after it was reduced to a minority in the state assembly.

In separate letters to the Governor, the Jannayak Janata Party (JJP) and the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) have sought a floor test in the assembly.

The Haryana Congress on Thursday sent a letter to the Governor's office seeking time on Friday to meet him and present a memorandum on the present political situation in the state.

On Wednesday, JJP leader Dushyant Chautala wrote to the governor, saying the Saini government no longer commands a majority and there should be an immediate floor test.

INLD's Abhay Singh Chautala also wrote to the Governor on Thursday, stating that "in view of the fact that the BJP government has lost its majority, the party demands that the government should be immediately asked to convene the Vidhan Sabha to hold a floor test to prove that it still enjoys its confidence".

Even as the opposition parties stepped up their efforts, three JJP MLAs are learnt to have met BJP leader and former Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar in Panipat.

Speaking to reporters in Bhiwani, Leader of Opposition Bhupinder Singh Hooda said the Congress has 30 MLAs but raised doubts whether all 10 JJP MLAs were onboard with their party, in a reference to some JJP MLAs indicating their support in recent days to the BJP.

Chief Minister Nayab Singh Saini maintained that his government is not in trouble.

He said on Thursday that his government won a confidence vote in March and if it comes to seeking the trust vote, "I will do it again when the time comes".

"You ask Dushaynt Chautala how many MLAs he has got," Saini told reporters in Karnal, challenging the claim that his government has lost the majority in the House.

Hitting out at Dushyant Chautala, Saini said the former deputy chief minister has lost people's trust. "In the Lok Sabha polls, people will know the candidates he has put up where they stand," the CM said.

Saini's predecessor Khattar claimed that many MLAs are in touch with the BJP and there is "nothing to worry about".

"Their arithmetic is not like they are thinking," said Khattar referring to opposition claiming that government is in a minority.

Senior BJP leader Om Prakash Dhankar also said the state government is stable and there is no danger to it.

Three Independent MLAs on Tuesday withdrew support to the BJP government and announced they would back the Congress. The government which has the support of two other Independents is now two short of the majority mark in the 90-member state assembly.

However, the House at present has an effective strength of 88 with Karnal and Rania assembly seats being vacant. The BJP has 40 MLAs, the Congress 30 and the JJP 10 in the House. INLD and Haryana Lokhit Party has one member each, while the total number of Independent MLAs are six.

In its letter, the Congress said that a party delegation led by Deputy CLP leader Aftab Ahmed and B B Batra, chief whip CLP, wants to meet the governor on May 10.

On Thursday, Leader of Opposition Bhupinder Singh Hooda said the "minority" dispensation should resign on moral grounds.

"We have also sought time from the governor," Hooda said when asked to comment by reporters on the JJP writing a letter to the governor.

Hooda was campaigning in Bhiwani for party's Lok Sabha candidate Rao Dan Singh.

"We are 30 MLAs...regarding JJP, it would have been better had they paraded 10 MLAs before the governor.

"There is no dispute about our MLAs. Some of their (JJP's) MLAs are supporting someone else...let them go to the governor with their 10 MLAs," Hooda said.

After withdrawal of support by the three Independents, Hooda said the Saini government is in a minority.

"On moral grounds, it should resign. President's rule should be imposed...we are demanding fresh elections in the state," the former chief minister said.

In his letter to the Governor, INLD's Abhay Chautala said, "In the present case, Nayab Singh Saini government has clearly lost its majority and has no legal or moral right to remain in office."

Abhay Chautala said that in case the Governor finds that in the present circumstances it is not possible to convene the assembly for the floor test then he may "recommend President's rule" in the state.

Taking on both the BJP and the JJP whose alliance ended after Saini replaced Khattar as Chief Minister in March, Hooda said, "They entered into an agreement to break the alliance. People understand this. People know there is a direct fight between the Congress and the BJP (in the Lok Sabha polls), others are 'vote kaatu' (vote-cutting) parties."

JJP leader Dushyant Chautala on Wednesday said that the Congress has to think whether they will take a step to bring down the "minority" BJP government.

Chautala had also said that if Hooda takes steps to topple the Saini government, his party would support the move.

However, the BJP government appears safe for now. Under the rules, a no-trust motion against a government can't be moved within six months of the previous one. In this case, the BJP government in Haryana had faced the no-confidence motion in February.

Later, after Nayab Saini took oath as chief minister, his government won the trust vote on March 13.

The assembly elections are due in Haryana in October this year.

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