New Delhi: The Bharatiya Janata Party and the Jannayak Janta Party will form a coalition government in Haryana after the assembly election results threw up a surprise hung verdict.
Ironically, it was the JJP’s political debut that hurt the BJP the most – leaving it six short of the majority mark. The fledgling party, that was floated in 2018, wrested exactly the same number of seats, six, from the BJP this election. The JJP’s remaining four seats came from the INLD bastion, the party it broke away from.
Headed by Dushyant Chautala, the party had managed to unseat a few BJP ministers, including Captain Abhimanyu in Narnaund constituency. It also ousted the ruling party’s Haryana chief Subash Barala in Tohana.
The Congress, on the other hand, held none of the 10 seats that the JJP won this time. On eight of these constituencies, the BJP candidates finished second, except Badhra and Guhla, where the Congress trailed the JJP.
Formed barely 10 months ago, the JJP made significant gains among the Jats and Dalits in Haryana, who represent 25 per cent and 21 per cent of the state’s electorate. It’s performance in non-Jat areas has also been remarkable.
JJP plays spoilsport
ThePrint’s analysis has shown that the JJP played spoilsport in 27 constituencies where the victory margin was less than the votes secured by the party.
Chautala’s party also performed well in a number of other constituencies. It finished second in 10 constituencies and a decisive third (candidates secured more than 10 per cent vote share) in 19 constituencies.
It’s the party for Jats
The JJP’s stellar political debut has consolidated its position as THE party of Jats in Haryana, although the community hasn’t fully backed it. The JJP’s parent faction, the INLD, had earlier been the traditional Jat party.
All the 10 seats the JJP won, including Uchana, Julana, Tohana, Barwala and Badhra, are Jat-dominated constituencies. In Narnaud, which is essentially considered an upper-caste segment, JJP’s Ram Kumar Gautam (a former BJP leader) defeated BJP leader Captain Abhimanyu.
Of the 10 seats where the JJP finished second, six are Jat-dominated.
“Clearly there is a visible sign of Jat anger against the BJP government,” said Sanjay Kumar, director at Centre for the Study of Developing Societies (CSDS). “Vote in dominant constituencies has gone to the stronger candidate, be it the Congress or JJP.”
The JJP has also fared well in the reserved constituencies (which traditionally voted for INLD), winning four of the 17 seats, including Shahbad, Guhla, Narwana and Uklana. It finished second in another, Kharkhoda, and third in six Dalit-dominated constituencies.
Congress’ former Haryana chief Ashok Tanwar, a prominent Dalit leader, had extended support to the party ahead of the elections.