INLD-BSP Join Hands In Haryana To Contest Assembly Polls With Abhay Chautala As CM Face

The Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) announced on Thursday that they will jointly contest the upcoming Haryana election with the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP).

The leaders of the alliance have also decided to project Indian National Lok Dal (INDL) leader Abhay Chautala as its chief ministerial face.

Addressing a joint press conference with the BSP at Nayagaon on the outskirts of Chandigarh, Chautala said that the alliance is not based on any selfish interests, but has been formed keeping in mind people’s feelings.

Under the arrangement, out of 90 assembly seats in Haryana, the BSP will contest 37 seats leaving the rest for its senior partner in Haryana, where the ruling BJP is eyeing to come to power for third time in a row.

“In Haryana, we have decided to jointly fight the upcoming assembly elections. Today, the feeling of common people is to oust from power the BJP, which is looting the state, and keep the Congress party at bay, which looted the state for 10 years earlier,” Chautala said.

BSP national coordinator Akash Anand also said that recently BSP supremo Mayawati and Chautala held a detailed meeting regarding firming up of the alliance.

“In that meeting, it had been decided that out of 90 assembly seats in Haryana, the BSP will contest on 37 seats while the rest will be fought by the INLD,” he said.

Anand further said that if alliance comes to power in the state, Chautala will be made chief minister.

This alliance will not be limited to fighting assembly polls only and we will fight other elections in the state jointly in the future, Anand said.

Soon after the announcement, Mayawati said in a post on X that the BSP and INLD will work together to defeat anti-people parties and form a new coalition government.

“Bahujan Samaj Party and Indian National Lok Dal will fight the upcoming assembly elections in Haryana together with the resolve to defeat the anti-people parties and form a new coalition government, which was announced in a joint press conference in Chandigarh today with my full blessings,” she said.

“Before the press conference of INLD’s principal general secretary Abhay Singh Chautala and BSP’s Anand Kumar, national coordinator Akash Anand and party’s state in-charge Randhir Beniwal today, successful talks were held between the two parties at my residence in New Delhi regarding the alliance,” she said.

The former Uttar Pradesh chief minister said there has been complete consensus on the issue of distribution of seats and voiced hope that the unity between the two parties will help defeat the opponents and form a new government.

At present, Chautala is the lone member of the INLD in the 90-member Haryana Assembly while the BSP does not have any member in the House.

At the press conference, Chautala said they will like to include more outfits opposed to the Congress and BJP to join hands with the alliance and build a strong front.

“If need be, we can talk to the Aam Aadmi Party too,” Chautala said while replying to a question and added a committee will be formed to hold talks with other outfits.

He said the INLD will share seats from its quota if other outfits join hands. However, he evaded a reply on whether the JJP could also be a part of the front.

On the occasion, the alliance leaders promised various sops to the masses if it comes to power.

“We will make such an arrangement that no domestic household will get electricity bill of more than Rs 500 (per month). People will not be charged for drinking water,” he promised.

Other promises include hike in old age pension from present Rs 3,000 per month to Rs 7,500, a free cooking gas cylinder to every household with Rs 1,100 to women for kitchen expenses, Rs 21,000 unemployment allowance to unemployed youth and 100 square yards of plots to be given for free to poor from Scheduled Caste category.

Chautala also said backlog in recruitments pertaining to Scheduled Caste will be filled. Many portals which are causing inconvenience to public will be scrapped. Old Pension Scheme for employees will be restored, he said.

All these promises will be fulfilled in the first meeting of the cabinet, Chautala said.

Chautala said Chaudhary Devi Lal and BSP founder late Kanshi Ram worked to bring a big change in this country. The BSP and INLD’s thinking is how the poor will get justice and how weaker sections will get empowered, he said.

In February 2019, the BSP had called off its nearly nine-month-old alliance with the INLD, which was then Haryana’s main opposition outfit. The development at that time had come amid a feud in the Chautala family.

Former MP and Abhay Chautala’s elder brother Ajay Singh Chautala and Ajay’s son Dushyant Chautala had formed the JJP party in December 2018 after a split in the INLD earlier that year.

Prior to this tie-up, the two had allied several years back too before separating.

The INLD and the BSP fought the recently held Lok Sabha polls separately in Haryana and both received a severe drubbing.

The BSP had fought nine of 10 parliamentary seats while the INLD contested seven seats, but both failed to open their account.

Abhay Chautala, who is INLD’s lone MLA in Haryana, had also entered the fray from the Kurukshetra parliamentary seat but lost.

(with PTI inputs)

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