Cracks have surfaced in the BJP-HJC alliance in Haryana post the Lok Sabha polls, with demands from certain sections in Bhartiya Janta Party's state unit to either rework the tie-up or go it alone in assembly elections.
While the HJC, led by Kuldeep Bishnoi, younger son of former Chief Minister, late Bhajan Lal, asserts that they were "committed to be in alliance" with the BJP on the earlier agreed upon conditions, the BJP leaders, however, maintain that things had changed post the Lok Sabha polls.
"It is true that elections are drawing near. As far as my party's state unit is concerned, we have conveyed the sentiments of our workers to our party high command and it now for the BJP's parliamentary board to decide the next step," Haryana BJP's legislature party leader, Anil Vij said on Monday.
BJP chief Amit Shah recently held meetings with leaders of the party's state unit and asked the partymen to gear up to ensure victory at the hustings. "We had discussions with our central leadership on the alliance issue," Vij said.
"A section of our workers wants us to contest alone while others want that we should rework the terms and conditions of the alliance as things had changed after the Lok Sabha polls," he said. Vij said Bishnoi had failed to retain his Lok Sabha seat from Hisar while another of his party candidate had lost from Sirsa parliamentary constituency.
Out of the ten Lok Sabha seats in Haryana, ruling Congress managed to win just the Rohtak seat, the only seat from where the BJP candidate lost, while the two seats were won by the main opposition INLD.
"A section of our workers feels that as per the earlier terms and conditions, it will not be a wise step to project Bishnoi as the alliance's chief ministerial candidate as he had failed to retain his seat in his own place (Hisar) while another of his party candidate had also lost.
"Moreover, the HJC candidates in the Lok Sabha polls lost heavily from a number of assembly segments," Vij said, adding "the party now wants to rework the earlier agreed upon 45-45 seat arrangement in the 90-member assembly between the two partners," ahead of the polls in October.
Asked if the frictions at this stage in the alliance with the BJP, which had until a few months back been described as "rock solid" by its senior leaders like Sushma Swaraj and Nitin Gadkari, would hurt the poll prospects, HJC's senior leader and convener of the HJC-BJP alliance, Dharampal Malik said, "We are committed to be in alliance with them on the earlier agreed upon conditions."
"According to the terms approved by the BJP's central leadership (earlier), each party will contest 45 assembly seats and Bishnoi would serve as chief minister for the first term if the alliance is voted to power," Malik said. Meanwhile, a senior Haryana BJP leader, on the condition of anonymity, said the BJP is displeased with HJC for allegedly not carrying campaign pictures of its leaders in the posters and banners, ahead of the assembly elections.
"Bishnoi's campaign centres around himself and we stand ignored in his scheme of things," he alleged. He also indicated that BJP may not announce the chief ministerial candidate for the state polls and would contest under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
INLD has made it clear that they would not enter into a pre-poll alliance with the BJP or any other party to contest in the State assembly polls. Ruling Congress, on the other hand, which is fighting anti-incumbency is eyeing a hat-trick in the State.