New Delhi: The BJP, which exit polls forecast would win comprehensively in the October 21 Haryana Assembly Elections, will struggle to get past majority mark in the state, early trends which emerged hours after the counting of votes began, indicated on Thursday. (Follow all Haryana Assembly Election-related news here).
All exit polls, except one, had predicted between 52-75 seats for the BJP in the 90-seat Assembly. The party formed its first government in the state five years ago after winning 47 seats in the Assembly Elections.
Earlier, in the very first trends, the BJP took a swept to a massive lead over the rival parties, racing into a comfortable lead and, at one stage, even crossing the majority mark. However, the Congress, which was predicted to suffer a massive defeat in the polls, staged a comeback and went head-to-head with the BJP and even took lead over the saffron party before falling behind, but not too far off.
However, it was Dushyant Chauatala, co-founder and national president of the Jannayak Janata Party (JJP), who emerged as the potential kingmaker, with the party crossing the double-digit mark. In fact, according to reports, Congress has initiated talks with the JJP and offered Dushyant the Chief Minister’s post. Interim party chief Sonia Gandhi has reportedly given former Chief Minister Bhupendra Singh Hooda ‘free hand’ to handle political developments in the state.
Incumbent CM ML Khattar, meanwhile, has been summoned to Delhi by BJP national president and Union Home Minister Amit Shah who is said to be unhappy with him.
According to the latest figures provided by the Election Commission of India (ECI), out of 89 seats, the BJP is ahead on 39, Congress on 29, JJP on 11, Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) on two, and others, including Independents on eight.