Haryana Assembly Speaker Kanwar Pal, a BJP legislator from Jagadhri, was trailing in his constituency behind Congress' Akram Khan by a margin of 5,889 votes. (Photo Credit: File Photo)
In a big setback, seven Haryana ministers, including Ram Bilas Sharma and Capt Abhimanyu, and state BJP chief Subhash Barala lost, in the Assembly elections. Haryana Assembly Speaker Kanwar Pal, a BJP legislator from Jagadhri, was also lost from his constituency to Congress's Akram Khan. Sharma, a five-time legislator, lost to Congress's Rao Dan Singh.
The Dushyant Chautala-led JJP and the Independents are likely to play a key role in government formation in Haryana as the BJP and the Congress do not seem to attain majority on its own and remained locked in a tense fight. Seven Independent candidates have registered victory. If the trend holds, former deputy prime minister Devi Lal's great grandson Dushyant Chautala and the Independents are likely to emerge as kingmakers.
The Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) is ahead in just one seat of Ellenabad where Abhay Singh Chautala is the incumbent legislator. Haryana Lokhit Party (HLP) president Gopal Kanda registered a win from Sirsa seat.
With the Haryana assembly polls heading for a fractured mandate, senior Congress leader and former chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda urged non-BJP outfits on Thursday to join hands.
Hooda alleged the administration was putting pressure on the Independents at the behest of the BJP and not allowing them to move freely.
Commenting on the results and trends so far, JJP leader Dushyant Chautala said, "This shows there was huge anti-incumbency against the (Manohar Lal) Khattar government."
Asked whom would his party support in the event of a hung assembly, the JJP leader said, "It is too early to say anything. We will first summon a meeting of our MLAs, decide who would be our leader in the House and then take it further."
Taking a swipe at the BJP's 'mission' of securing 75 seats, he said they will fall way short of their target as the "people of Haryana want change".
State Congress chief Kumari Selja said the people of Haryana have rejected the BJP and are ready to "embrace a new dawn of justice".
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