Haryana headed for political crisis as BJP govt loses majority: 3 independent MLAs withdraw support

Political analysts suggest Haryana could be heading towards a hung assembly scenario if neither the BJP nor the Congress is able to cobble together a majority in the days ahead.

The BJP government in Haryana led by Chief Minister Nayab Singh Saini is staring at a serious political crisis after three Independent MLAs withdrew their support on Tuesday, reducing the ruling coalition to a minority in the state assembly.

The Independent legislators – Sombir Sangwan, Randhir Singh Gollen, and Dharampal Gonder – made the surprise announcement at a press conference in Rohtak, in the presence of Leader of the Opposition Bhupinder Singh Hooda and Haryana Congress chief Udai Bhan.

“The government should resign. The President’s rule should be imposed in the state and elections held. This is an anti-people government,” Hooda declared, smelling an opportunity to return to power after being ousted in 2019.

With the latest defections, the BJP’s strength in the 90-member Haryana Assembly has been reduced to 40 MLAs, two short of the majority mark of 46 in the current effective House strength of 88. The Congress now has the backing of 33 MLAs, including the three former BJP allies.

The Dushyant Chautala-led Jannayak Janta Party (JJP), which had earlier pulled out of the BJP-led coalition government in March, has 10 MLAs. Some JJP legislators have indicated they could support the BJP, but their stance remains uncertain amid the fluid political situation.

Hooda urged JJP leader Dushyant Chautala to initiate the process of “bringing down the government which has lost the trust of the people”. The Congress has also approached the governor, stating the BJP no longer commands a majority.

Political analysts suggest Haryana could be heading towards a hung assembly scenario if neither the BJP nor the Congress is able to cobble together a majority in the days ahead. This would potentially necessitate the imposition of President’s Rule and fresh elections in the state later this year.

The Independent MLAs cited issues like farmers’ distress, rising inflation, and unemployment as the reasons behind their decision to withdraw support from the BJP government, which had been surviving on a wafer-thin majority.

With assembly elections scheduled in October, the latest developments have thrown Haryana’s political landscape into turmoil, setting the stage for an intense power struggle between the principal contenders – the BJP and the Congress.

All eyes are now on Governor Bandaru Dattatreya’s next move as constitutional experts suggest he may have to ask the BJP to prove its majority on the floor of the House or dissolve the assembly for snap polls.