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Dushyant Chautala Holds the Cards in Haryana: Now, BJP or Cong?

The BJP or Congress? Which way will JJP’s Dushyant Chautala tilt? Here’s what’s at stake.

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Politics
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Dushyant Chautala's Jannayak Janata Party (JJP) as a surprise package in the Haryana Assembly elections, with a lead in around 10 seats, and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Congress in a close race.

Earlier in the day, Chautala came out and said his party will support whoever offers them the chief minister’s post. Reports also suggest that the Congress has already reached out to JJP for an alliance.

The Jannayak Janata Party (JJP) was formed less than a year ago in December 2018. The party contested the Jind bypoll in Haryana, and came in second in the result tally.

With a strong Jat vote behind its win and a leader who's being seen as a successor to Devi Lal — the question is: Which way will Dushyant Chautala go? Here’s what’s at stake.

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JJP-Congress: Karnataka Model

Reports suggest that the Congress has reached out to the JJP, offering it the CM’s seat. This potential alliance resembles the former’s strategy with the Janata Dal (Secular) in Karnataka.

It seems that the only incentive the Congress can offer Dushyant Chautala is the CM’s chair. Ideologically, Congress and the JJP aren’t a comfortable fit. Congress has a strong Jat leader in Bhupinder Singh Hooda, who might clash with Dushyant Chautala; especially, if the latter’s Jat support base is seen to be given prominence in the alliance.

JJP-BJP: Powerful Centre

With the BJP’s powerful presence at the Centre, the BJP-JJP alliance could be a possibility if the leaders at the Centre intervene to reassure Dushyant Chautala. Moreover, the BJP has no strong Jat leader in Haryana. Dushyant Chautala and JJP’s strong base could prove to be a good fit for the BJP.

But only if the chief minister’s post is put on the table.

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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