With Haryana heading for a hung Assembly, former chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda on Thursday said that all the political parties must unite against the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to form government in the state. “The time has come for Congress, Jannayak Janata Party (JJP), Indian National Lok Dal (INLD), and independent candidates to come together to form a strong government,” he said while speaking to reporters in Rohtak.
Hooda also took a dig at BJP for eyeing around 75 seats in the state Assembly Elections. "Those who were sloganeering about crossing the 75 mark are finding it difficult to touch even 35," he said.
If current trends hold, BJP (38) is little ahead of Congress (32) in Haryana but none are in a position to form the Government on their own. JJP is leading in 10, while Independent (6), as counting progresses for the 90-member Assembly.
The BJP, which had won 47 seats in the last Assembly polls in 2014, had been expressing confidence about raising its tally beyond 75 seats this time, which looks a far cry at the moment.
In what appears to be a setback to the BJP, seven of its ministers, assembly Speaker and state party chief are trailing.
The ministers include Ram Bilas Sharma, Capt Abhimanyu, O P Dhankar, Kavita Jain, Krishan Lal Panwar, Manish Grover, Krishan Kumar Bedi.
Speaker Kanwar Pal, a BJP legislator from Jagadhri, and state BJP president Subhash Barala, who is seeking re-election from Tohana, are also trailing, according to the trends.
Among the sportspersons fielded by the BJP, former Indian hockey captain Sandeep Singh and wrestler Babita Phogat are leading, while wrestler Yogeshwar Dutt is trailing. Senior minister and five-time legislator Anil Vij is leading from Ambala Cantt.
Among the Congress candidates, former chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda and party leaders Kuldeep Bishnoi and Kiran Choudhry are leading in their respective constituencies.
Commenting on the initial trends, Hooda exuded confidence that Congress would form the government in the state.