Dilemma mounts over post-poll tie-ups

Dilemma mounts over post-poll tie-ups

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s piercing rant against the INLD, even calling its chief Om Prakash Chautala and MP son Ajay Chautala as “Tiharwallahs”—a reference to their prison term in Tihar jail—could shut the doors on any likelihood of a post-poll alliance between the two parties in case of a hung Assembly. 

The INLD and the BJP have been allies in the state earlier, but are contesting this election independently.

Modi’s never before tirade against the INLD and its leadership indicates the saffron party’s growing inclination to position itself as a stable alternative in Haryana, where it arguably lacked mass support till the recent Lok Sabha elections. Modi on Monday categorically went ahead to state that he would not accept the support of “dangerous people who are lodged in Tihar jail”.

The Haryana BJP, which had a three-year old alliance with Bhajan Lal’s son Kuldeep Bishnoi-led Haryana Janhit Congress (HJC), has already severed ties with the latter, just before the announcement of the Assembly elections.

The Haryana elections have turned into a multi-cornered contest. Denials apart, in the case of a hung verdict, a post-poll alliance between the BJP and the INLD was viewed as a likely alternative to form the government in Haryana. Modi in his rallies in Haryana has now outrightly rejected this possibility. 

The prime minister trained guns at Chautala calling him a power “hungry person with no morals”. Party insiders say the possibility of a post poll tie-up is bleak given the high decibel poll pitch that both the parties are resorting to.

Some experts opine that the hope could still revive given that the INLD chief and his kin have an extremely strong rapport with Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and his family. 

The Akali Dal and the BJP are allies in Punjab. But, the equation of the Akali Dal and the INLD is so strong that the two are contesting the Haryana polls jointly, even if it has meant annoying its ally BJP in Punjab, which is not only fighting against the INLD in Haryana but has also launched a scathing attack against the Chautalas.