Will Haryana Face A Mid-Term Poll ?
JAG MOHAN THAKEN
Just after the revolt of JJP MLA Ram Kumar Gautam , another MLA supporting the BJP government Mr. Balraj Kundu also sounded a bugle within three months of formation of BJP-JJP alliance government . Will the chain of resentment continue to increase its length or the Controller –Generals of the alliance succeed in curbing the voice of indignation ? Before a final note , let us discuss the background .
Sometimes bad luck of one turns to good luck for the other. BJPs not gaining the majority win in October , 2019 Haryana Assembly elections bestowed a sunny glowing day upon Jannayak Janta Party (JJP ) in the murky political scenario . After winning all the 10 Lok Sabha seats in May ,2019 on the air wings of Modi , the over confident state BJP declared its target of 75 plus seats out of 90 in Haryana Vidhan Sabha , but failed to read the ground report . When election results were declared, the BJP which was flying high in the sky on the gas filled balloons, dashed to the ground and got only 40 seats out of total 90 . The main opposition party congress got 31 seats , the newly formed JJP caught 10 seats ,whereas the independents and others succeeded in getting 9 . With a clear motive of getting power by hook or crook and keeping in mind the popular saying “Better give the wool than the whole sheep”, the just ousted BJP caught the butterfly JJP hovering over the flower garden to suck the power pollen juice and made it the partner in the power game . BJP’s Manohar Lal Khattar once again got King’s crown and JJP in lieu of its King maker role got the Deputy CM post for its field supremo Dushyant Chautala.
It has been noticed in different elections , that in Haryana , the voters don’t take on top priority the development through “Sabka Saath –Sabka Vikas”, rather they want “Mera Saath –Mera Vikas”. It is generally quoted that had they liked the general or public development works , the former Chief Minister late Chaudhary Bansi Lal never had lost the elections .It is also noticed in the just held assembly elections , the former state finance minister , Captain Abhimanyu lost the race despite his multilevel development works in his Narnaund constituency .
Generally to get the elections and defections favourably the high side promises are made and if one sees the least chances to win then sometimes the political leaders bless everyone with a son . JJP did so and made 160 promises in its manifesto during elections, which require a huge fund to fulfill these . Some of these are high side promises which even not possible to implement due to the paucity of funds with the state and other restrictions . JJP knew this before- hand , but it promised these just to bend the voters towards it . JJP had not even thought of its getting the power share so soon. Now their own promises have put BJP-JJP alliance government in a dilemma . Both partners have made nearly 400 promises ,out of which 70 are common and are being considered for their common minimum programme .
JJP’s some major promises are– Increase in the monthly old age pension from the existing Rs 2,000 to 5,100, lowering down of eligibility age for the old age pension from present 60 years to 55 for women and 58 for males , to reserve 75 per cent of jobs for the local youth which constitute a sizeable chunk of nearly 1.83 crore voters of the state, to give a monthly assistance of Rs 11,000 per month to unemployed youth while student from rural areas to be given extra ten marks when they appear in competitive examinations in the state , for the farmers, a bonus of 10 per cent or Rs 100 to be given over MSP, minimum wages to be fixed at Rs 16,000 and to waive loans taken by farmers from the cooperative banks.
If we have a sight on loan to farmers , 823811 farmers are yet to repay the loans amounting Rs. 3748 crore as on 31 December , 2019 to the cooperative banks in the state even after the recovery .
Haryana Cooperation Minister, Dr. Banwari Lal , while announcing the last date of ‘One Time Settlement Scheme’ till January 31, 2020 for the loanee members and farmers, who have an account with cooperative banks to facilitate the members and farmers to take advantage of the scheme, told that the total amount of short term loan of Harco Bank is about Rs 3091 crore and there are about 6,99,804 beneficiaries, out of which Rs 1136.36 crore has been recovered from 2,51,481 beneficiaries till 31 December 2019. He also added that the total loan amount of District Central Co-operative Banks is about Rs 608 crores and there are about 31749 beneficiaries, out of which an amount of Rs 150.74 crores has been recovered from about 6925 beneficiaries till 31 December 2019. He further informed that the Land Mortgage Bank has a total of 92258 indebted beneficiaries and a total loan amount of Rs.1577.75 crores, out of which an amount of Rs.242.18 crores has been recovered from 9151 indebted beneficiaries till January 2, 2020.
Haryana Power and Jails minister Ranjit Singh divulged while addressing mediapersons during the first bijli panchayat in Hisar on Sunday Jan 05,2020, “According to the data of rural domestic consumers, the total pending amount isRs.2,900 crore, of which Rs. 95 crore is of farmers using tubewells. We are meeting the panchayat members of villages that are on the defaulters’ list and will ask them how they will pay the amount.”
It is pertinent to mention here that the farmers had stopped the repayment of loans and electricity bills believing on the waivement promises of different political leaders . During this assembly election also , JJP and Congress both made the farmers’ loans and electricity bills as election issues .
During assembly election campaign , Congress leader and former chief minister of Haryana , Bhupender Singh Hooda had alleged that due to wrong policies of BJP government the Haryana had become debt ridden state . In a tweet on October 15,2019, Hooda alleged , “BJP government had emptied the state treasure and burdened the
State with a loan of Rs. 164076 Crore during BJP’s five year tenure from 2014 to 2019 , whereas during the 48 years regime from 1966 to 2014 the state availed of a debt of Rs.76263 Crore.”
To start with , the alliance government declared implementation of its first promise of enhancement of old age and widow pension from present Rs. 2000 per month to Rs. 2250 by giving an increase of just Rs. 250/ per month .
Now Chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar on Friday , January 03,2020 , announced increase in all monthly social security pensions, including the old age pension, from Rs. 2,000 to Rs.2,250.
Since 2015, the state government has extended an increase of Rs 200 in these pensions every year. The old age pension which was Rs.1,000 in 2014 was increased in the last five years at the rate of Rs.200 every year, giving a last slab of Rs. 2000 per month.
However , BJP’s power partner, JJP had promised an ambitious increase in the monthly old age pension from the existing Rs 2,000 to Rs.5,100 ,whereas the BJP had promised to increase the old age pension to Rs .3,000 per month during the assembly election campaign .
Reacting over the pension enhancement , the former Chief Minister , Bhupender Hooda said on January 6,2020 at Rohtak , “It is no achievement by the government as it has hiked only Rs.50 additionally .”
If we consider this increase of Rs. 250 per month as a routine yearly increase on the lines of previous yearly increases of Rs. 200 per year by BJP led government , then question arises , what the JJP did ? Did JJP succeed in getting an increase of Rs. 50 only as its share ? What about its promise of Rs. 5100 per month ?
Commenting on the increase , Congress leader and three times Member Lok sabha , Mr. Deepender Singh Hooda reacted on January,03,2020 , “The BJP-JJP alliance government has given a Lollypop to the public by just enhancing old age pension from Rs. 2000 to Rs. 2250 against a promise of Rs. 5100. The public will never forgive the alliance government for this betrayal. Is this the common minimum programme ?”
Congress leader Randeep Singh Surjewala took a dig at the BJP-JJP coalition government in Haryana and said their common minimum programme had become “common mess of parties”.
“Because neither any farm debt was waived nor old age pension of Rs 5,100 was given. Yes, the JJP did get 11 departments and the BJP managed to retain power. But what 2.50 crore population of Haryana got,” Surjewala asked.
Indian National lok Dal supreme operator and former leader of opposition in Haryana Assembly , Abhay Singh Chautala tells the pension increase as ‘A drop in ocean’ and questions JJP leaders , without naming them , “ Where are the persons, who were claiming to extend Rs. 5100 per month pension to the old age citizens ?”
But still the JJP appreciating the step . Speaking to the media in Bhiwani on January 4, 2020 , JJP supremo and Deputy CM Dushyant Chautala said , “We have increased the pension by Rs.250 just in a short span of 67 days , this will lay a burden of Rs. 1000 crore on the state exchequer .”
He claimed that during these 67 days the BJP-JJP alliance government has fulfilled four promises of JJP manifesto and three from BJP manifesto under common minimum programme .
After the first meeting of the Common Minimum Programme (CMP) Committee held in Chandigarh on November 28,2019 , CMP Committee chairperson and senior cabinet minister Anil Vij said that many promises of both the parties –BJP and JJP are similar and implementation of many has already been started.
Will the Alliance govt run for the full five year term ?
While at Rohtak on January 6 ,2020 , INLD supremo and former Chief Minister of Haryana , Om Prakash Chautala predicting the mid-term polls for the state said that BJP-JJP alliance government will fall on its own very soon . Exhorting the workers , Chautala said , “ I urge you all to get ready for mid-term polls for Haryana assembly , because many MLAs of the ruling alliance are not happy and they will topple the government any time.”
Supporting the INLD supremo’s prediction , Leader of Opposition in Haryana assembly and former CM Bhupender Hooda said on the same day , “If Chautala had stated so , he must have made this observation after having a proper analysis of the situation . No possibility can be ruled out in politics and everything is possible.”
Countering the mid-term poll predictions by opposition party leaders ,on the occasion of inauguration of a Cancer Unit in a private hospital on January 07 ,2020 at Panipat , Deputy CM and JJP leader Dushyant Chautala said , “BJP-JJP alliance government is running as a stable government and it will go on till its full five year tenure .”
Hitting on the congress party on the issue of old age pension increase , Dushyant said, “The Old age pension got an increase of just Rs. 700 in 10 years rule of congress in the state , whereas the BJP-JJP alliance government has given an enhancement of Rs. 250 in just 60 days .”
Three days before, Dushyant had also claimed that during these two months the BJP-JJP alliance government had fulfilled four promises of JJP manifesto and three from BJP manifesto under common minimum programme .
The political analysts calculate that it is the hard fact that the BJP will never compromise to fulfill the manifesto points promised by JJP. BJP think tank clearly knows that if JJP succeeds in getting its agenda implemented , it will be an action of digging its own grave for BJP . So , BJP will play its well tested ‘Use-Fuse and Refuse’ theory and downsize the alliance partner JJP with the slow poisoning process. It will neither let it to die nor will give it much strength to raise its graph. The present live example of victim of ‘Use-Fuse and Refuse’ theory is Mr. Lal Krishan Advani . A slight enhancement in old age pension , against a high pitch promise of Rs. 5100 of JJP , is an indication of downsizing the JJP . Now it is upto the JJP supremo Dushyant Chautala , whether he prefers to enjoy the sweet fruits of power for the limited period on the clemency of BJP or to stand up like his great grandfather late Chaudhary Devi Lal and reign over the state politics for a longer half century .
Haryana Assembly Elections: Jats’ No To Modi, Nod To JJP, Changed The Scenario
JAG MOHAN THAKEN
The voters of Haryana have shown a complete rejection to Modism and state BJP’s 75 plus slogan in recently held Assembly elections by keeping the party even below the required Pass mark. BJP could get only 40 seats in the 90 member house in triangular fight with Congress (31) and Jannayak Janta Party (JJP-10) despite Prime Minister Narender Modi’s 7 rallies in the state during the election campaign , rather a negative response was reflected in results on the seats of Sirsa ,Rewari , Ellenabad and other adjoining seats where Modi addressed the rallies . Over enthused Modi’s mordant , spirited ,warm blooded and fiery speeches could gather no moss .
However the central leaders and the state Chief Minister , Manohar Lal Khattar left no stone unturned to win the game and organized BJP President Amit Shah’s 5 Rallies , Working National President J P Nadda’s 3 Rallies , Defence Minister Raj Nath Singh’s 9 Rallies , Union Minister Nitin Gadkari’s one Rally , Manohar Lal Khattar’s 77 Rallies , Actress Hema Malini’s 9 Rallies and Sunny Deol’s 4 Rallies in addition to 7 rallies of Prime Minister Modi . All these star campaigners highlighted and hurled the issues of Nationalism , Balakot Airstrike and abrogation of Article 370 to deviate the mood of Haryanvi voters from regional issues raised by the opposition , but all in vein .BJP slipped downward by 22% vote share within six months of Lok Sabha polls.
In May 2019 Lok Sabha elections , floating on the Modi wave , BJP won all the ten Lok Sabha seats in the state with huge margin and a vote share of 58% , but now in the present assembly elections BJP could get only 36 % votes . Modi’s howling over Pakistan and also showing dreams to the farmers of Haryana of bringing water to their fields by stopping the overflowing river waters to Pakistan just after the Haryana win couldn’t stop the slippage of vote bank of BJP. The opposition deflated the river water claim of Modi by asking , “ Who stopped Modi during his previous five year tenure from 2014 to 19 , when the BJP was ruling both in centre as well as in the Haryana State ?”
However , the Chief Minister Mr. Manohar Lal Khattar claimed of his government’s merit base recruitment and transparent transfer policy in his every rally, but the voters of Haryana reflected their resentment through their mandate against the working of Khattar government by giving a clean sweep to its ministers without considering their castes or region. Out of ten ministers , eight lost their way to Haryana assembly including the big guns ,claiming to be the next Chief Minister , namely Rambilas Sharma , Captain Abhimanyu and OP Dhankhar. Even Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar’s media advisor Rajiv Jain could not succeed to publicize the positive side of Khattar government and failed to gain the faith of voters for his minister wife Kavita Jain from Sonipat constituency , which also reflected the unsatisfactory image and media management work of Mr. Rajiv Jain . However the media in the present scenario does not react directly, but some murmuring sounds named Mr. Jain as media administrator instead of media advisor. Other ministers , who lost the election battle are Krishan Lal Panwar , Manish Grover, Krishan Kumar Bedi and Karn Dev Kamboj .
Who gained from the slippage of BJP ?
The main opposition party in the state, congress was a divided house with six Chief Ministerial candidates, who remained busy in leg pulling of each other’s competitors . Ashok Tanwar , the previous state president , believed to be the right hand and faithful soldier of Rahul Gandhi, let the party to go in the sleeping mode and the congress had to face the worst tenure . Just before the assembly elections after changing the crown back from Rahul Gandhi to Sonia Gandhi , Haryana state leadership was also changed and responsibility was given to Rajya Sabha Member Kumari Selja and former Chief Minister Bhupender Singh Hooda to revive the party .Despite of short time alarm ,the duo managed to enhance its number of seats from 15 to 31 . As their main concentration remained limited to Rohtak and surrounding districts, they could not plough the fields of Bhiwani, Hisar, fatehabad and Sirsa districts properly ; due to which despite increase in number of seats won the vote share of congress remained almost the same in assembly elections(28.10%) as was in Lok Sabha elections (28.42%).In May 2019 Lok Sabha elections congress with the same vote share got the lead over BJP candidates in 11 state assembly constituencies ,but now the number increased to 31 without changing the vote percentage.
Retention of same vote share by congress and slippage of percentage of BJP raises the question , “ Who gained from the loss of BJP ?” If we watch the performance of newly raised Jannayak Janta Party (JJP) by Dushyant Chautala , a fourth generation representative of late Chaudhary Devi Lal , we see that this party ,including some independents, has fetched a vote share of nearly 28 % in these assembly elections . So ,it is now clear that JJP and some independents revolted from BJP have got their major vote share from the BJP share , as JJP won 10 seats and independents 7 and others got 2 seats .
What reason is behind this vote transfer ?
Jats ,a dominant community of Haryana, had always played a major role in king making in the state. BJP also got power in 2014 , both in Lok Sabha and State Assembly , due to involvement of Jat leaders like Birender Singh, Dharamveer Singh, OP Dhankhar, Captain Abhimanyu and Subhash Barala. But in the changed scenario since Jats have raised their voice for getting reservation under OBC category , the politicians like Raj Kumar Saini , the then Member of Parliament representing BJP , started to divide the society in Jat-Non Jat segments for their political gains . They raised a parallel force of original OBC castes to combat against Jats to defuse their reservation claim and created an atmosphere of fear among these people that if Jats get inclusion in OBC category ,they will snatch their whole share and they(original OBCs ) will be cornered in a limited sphere. This was the reason behind the fiery stir in which 30 persons lost their life and a long lasting division in the society occurred. BJP felt it a soothing situation, that is why they didn’t stop Mr. Saini, the BJP MP, from his ridiculous activities. Why BJP had not taken any action against Saini ? Why he was not ousted from BJP and why party supreme commanders allowed him to represent BJP in Lok Sabha for the whole five year tenure ?
Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar also instigated Jats by issuing statements ,which Jats felt defamatory , during his speeches at different rallies . Claimant of ‘Haryana Ek-Haryanvi Ek’ policy, Mr. Khattar , while addressing a rally at Balana in favour of BJP candidate and Transport Minister Krishan Lal Panwar , said, “ BJP has ended the JJJ system (one J stands for Jila (district), second for Jaati (caste) and the third for Jhola (bag full of notes) of the previous governments. We have used another J to end the corrupt system by throwing the three Js into Johar (pond) and launched ‘Mission Merit’ to provide jobs to youth on the basis of merit,”
This speech of Khattar claiming to end one ‘J’ representing jati (Caste) gave a firing message that Khattar is claiming to end Jat Jati through ‘J’ symbol .
Simmilarly , Khattar’s announcement , indicating towards Chautalas and Hooda without naming them directly , that ‘A father –son duo is already behind bars and the second one will go there very soon’, also irritated Jats . Such types of statements during elections and wars always have negative effects, and that happened this time too, giving a jolt to the BJP party . To teach a remarkable lesson to BJP , the most of the Jats voted in favour of JJP or the Hooda supported winning candidates or revolters from BJP , which decreased the vote percentage in favour of BJP and increased the vote share of JJP and Congress. But seeing the soft corner of some Jat voters in favour of Hooda candidates ,the equivalent voters from other castes changed their sides from congress and voted in favour of other parties of their liking, which kept the vote share of congress nearly the same (28%).
Chief Minister Khattar on the first day of November held a meeting with the former ministers in the previous Government to review the losses suffered by the BJP in the recently concluded Assembly polls.
A discussion was held on the reasons behind the losses suffered by the party and the defeat of a majority of Ministers.
Media reports reveal that the defeated ministers reportedly discussed that consolidation of the Jat votes against the party and non-polarisation of the urban and non-Jat voters in favour of the saffron party was also behind the non-realisation of its “Mission 75 plus”.
Now the BJP has formed the new government by clasping with its election time opponent JJP , having a strong base in Jats , so it will be a compulsion for BJP to extend an affectionate hand towards Jats ,if it wants to continue in power . But , time will tell till what extent the alliance goes on. Politics is a game of poly tricks and no one remains a permanent foe or friend.