Dushyant Chautala-led Jannayak Janata Party (JJP) is likely to support the Bharatiya Janata Party in the Haryana Assembly as neck and neck fight between the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Congress continues. The BJP, which had set a target of winning 75 seats ahead of the polls, is leading in 40 seats, whereas the Congress is also ahead in 31 constituencies. The fledgling Jannayak Janta Party, which fought its maiden assembly polls, is also ahead in 10 seats. If the trends hold, the JJP could likely emerge as the kingmaker and hold the key to formation of the next government.
Early counting trends indicated that neither the ruling BJP, nor the Congress will be able to form the government on their own. And Dushyant’s months-old Jannayak Janta Dal was ahead in 10 seats, pitching him into the kingmaker’s role. As counting progressed, Chautala, 31, remained non- committal on which of the two main parties his JJP will support in case of a hung House.
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, he told reporters.
The parent Indian National Lok Dal (INLD), headed by Dushyant Chautala’s grandfather Om Prakash Chautala and uncle Abhay Chautala has been trumped by the breakaway party. Early trends showed that INLD was leading in just two constituencies.
Dushyant Chautala, 31, has now emerged as a leader of some reckoning in the Jat community, as well among Haryana’s youth.
Last year, the INLD split between Dushyant’s father Ajay Chautala and uncle Abhay Chautala—the two sons of Om Prakash Chautala. Ajay Chautala and his father are serving a jail term in connection with a teachers’ recruitment scam during the INLD tenure.
Dushyant Chautala is described as a risk-taker by some. He opted to form his own political outfit rather than get into in a legal battle with his uncle Abhay Chautala over holding the reins of the INLD.
Despite attempts made by some ‘khaps’ and even former Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal, a family friend of the Chautalas, for a reconciliation, Dushyant remained firm.
Just a month after coming into being last December, the JJP faced its first electoral challenge in the Jind bypoll. Its candidate Digvijay Chautala lost to the BJP but managed to push Congress stalwart Randeep Singh Surjewala to the third position.
The JJP then fought on seven seats in the recent Lok Sabha polls, leaving three for the Aam Aadmi Party.
The BJP made a clean sweep over all the 10 parliamentary constituencies in the state and Dushyant Chautala lost his own Hisar seat.
But the defeat appeared to have not deterred him from going for the bigger goal to build the party and make it a fighting force ahead of Assembly polls.