Congess slams JJP, says will remain BJP's 'B-team'

Last Updated 28 October 2019, 18:42 IST

With the BJP and the Jannayak Janata Party declaring that they will form a coalition government in Haryana, the Congress on Friday said it was now out in the open that the Dushyant Chautala-led JJP was and will remain the "B-team" of the BJP.

The opposition party's sharp attack came soon after it became clear that the BJP was set to form the new government in Haryana after clinching an alliance with the JJP, which has won 10 seats in the 90-member assembly, by giving it the post of deputy chief minister.

BJP president Amit Shah announced at a press conference, held with JJP leader Chautala, that the chief minister will be from his party and the deputy chief minister from the regional party.

Hitting out at the alliance, Congress' chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said it was now out in the open that the "JJP-Lok Dal (INLD) were, and will always be, the BJP's B-team".

"When the BJP wants to gain power by dividing the society, sometimes Raj Kumar Saini and sometimes the JJP-Lok Dal will stand as a puppet," he said in a tweet in Hindi.

The public has now come to know the reality, he said.

Surjewala also claimed that it was the truth that the Khattar government has not been given the mandate by the people.

"It is also true that the JJP asked for people's mandate against the BJP and won 10 seats," he said in a series of tweets.

It is also true that the JJP promised that it will never align with the BJP, Surjewala said.

He accused the JJP of choosing power over promises.

Earlier in the day, Surjewala accused the saffron party of using allurements of money and power to get a majority and said a government formed through such means would be "illegitimate".

A row erupted after Haryana Lokhit Party leader and Sirsa MLA Gopal Kanda, accused of abetment to suicide, claimed he and the Independents have "decided to extend unconditional support to the BJP".

Lashing out at the BJP for taking Kanda's support, Surjewala told reporters, "I think you should look at the statements made by Narendra Modi and Amit Shah at the time when Gopal Kanda was a minister in the (Congress) government in Haryana when we forced him to resign after registration of a case and also removed him from ministership."

"What was the stance of the BJP then and what sort of doublespeak is the BJP doing today," he said, accusing the saffron party of displaying "hunger for power".

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has been decisively rejected and those who said they will get a 75-seat mandate have not even touched the majority mark, Surjewala said.

"They (the BJP) have no right to form a government. Defections are coming to play with allurements of money and power and of positions in government being the sole criteria for forming a government in Haryana," he alleged.

Asked about the narrow margins of the defeat of some Congress candidates and recount at some seats in Haryana, Surjewala said, "We all knew how money and muscle power and the ruling dispensation used the entire machinery to help certain candidates and the medium of recounting was used to defeat four-five Congress candidates."

"Whatever they may do, finally democracy has prevailed and democracy has spoken. BJP has not been given the mandate to rule. Any government that the BJP forms will be an illegitimate and illegally constituted government," he added.

The ruling BJP emerged the largest party with 40 seats, six short of the halfway mark needed to form the next government, while the Congress bagged 31 seats. With no real clear winner, the seven Independents and the Jannayak Janta Party with 10 seats hold the key to power in the state.

The Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) and Haryana Lokhit Party bagged one seat each.

(Published 26 October 2019, 02:34 IST)

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