BJP-JPP alliance may hit manifesto hurdle

Home Minister Amit Shah, BJP Working President JP Nadda, Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar, JJP leader Dushyant Chautala. PTI Photo

The newfound alliance in Haryana is likely to throw up challenges in implementing manifesto promises, especially the lofty doles promised by the Janata Jananayak Party (JJP) which do not find mention in BJP’s manifesto. 

The BJP-JJP alliance will be constituting a committee to prepare a common minimum programme to avoid any bitterness between alliance partners.

Among other things, the JJP has promised cash doles of Rs 11,000 per month as unemployment allowance for the youth, waiver of cooperative loan for farmers and small traders, 75% jobs to Haryana natives etc.

The BJP’s pledge document, on the other hand, was more realistic and bereft of populist competitiveness, in wake of fiscal health of the state and burgeoning debt.

There has been palpable anger among sections of the dominant Jat community after the JJP extended support to the BJP to form the government.

To tamp down on the resentment, the fledgling JJP will have to ensure its manifesto doles are taken up on priority. While the alliance deal was a compulsion for the BJP after it fell short of the halfway mark to form the government, it is seen as a win-win situation for the 10-month old JJP, especially after its leader Dushyant Chautala managed the deputy Chief ministers post in return for supporting the BJP.

For the JJP, which secured nearly 15% of vote share, a sizable stake in government will be a steppingstone to expand its base and agenda.

The BJP falling short of the requisite numbers is essentially a result of the counter-polarization of the Jat votes against the BJP.

The Congress, which more than doubled its tally to 31 seats, also benefited from Dalit votes. The Congress gained in reserved constituencies. Intelligence reports also cautioned the BJP of a likely consolidation of Jat-Dalit votes, it is learned. 

The BJP failed to gauge the undercurrent and groundswell among voters that the JJP and Congress were able to generate. The saffron party botched up reading the anti-incumbency that was brewing against specific candidates, including the majority of ministers in M L Khattar’s cabinet, who eventually lost.

The cabinet expansion in Haryana will take place after the elected MLAs have taken oath on November 4. 

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