With clouds hanging over the continuity of HJC-BJP alliance, Haryana Janhit Congress (BL) chief Kuldeep Bishnoi today asserted that his party was firm on not negotiating on the original terms and conditions of the partnership and hit out at the state saffron leaders for publicly airing their views against the tie-up.
Bishnoi, the younger son of late former Chief Minister Bhajan Lal, stated this in a letter to BJP chief Amit Shah who had yesterday said in Delhi that his party workers should focus on ensuring victory in Haryana on its own.
"On innumerable occasions I have conveyed to state and central BJP leaders that HJC is not open to re-negotiating the original terms and conditions of the alliance agreement.
"We would request BJP to also reverently abide by the terms and conditions of the alliance agreement, which contains the voice of people of Haryana," he said in the letter.
With majority of Haryana BJP leaders favouring re-working the terms and conditions of the alliance, Bishnoi's letter to Shah came in the backdrop of his closed-door meeting with Rajya Sabha MP Amar Singh in Gurgaon today.
The HJC camp had yesterday asked the BJP to clear the air on alliance for the upcoming Assembly polls after Shah during BJP National Council in Delhi told his party workers to focus on ensuring victory in Haryana on its own.
"At the outset, let me take an opportunity of congratulating you for taking over as BJP President. In fact, ever since you took over as the BJP chief, I have been trying to contact you to convey my best wishes. My office has been regularly following up with you for an appointment, but without avail," Bishnoi wrote.
He mentioned that the HJC-BJP alliance was entered in 2011 for Lok Sabha and for the state Assembly elections.
"The terms and conditions were agreed upon after detailed discussions between senior leaders of the two parties, and the same were formally laid out in written agreement. This agreement was duly acknowledged and approved by the BJP's Parliamentary Board.
"In the LS polls, the BJP was to contest eight seats and HJC was to fight two seats. In the state assembly, both parties would contest 45 seats each and Bishnoi, leader of the alliance and HJC chief, would be Chief Minister for the two-and-a-half years and BJP nominee for the remaining period," wrote Bishnoi.
He has also sent a copy of this letter to the members of the BJP's Parliamentary Board, besides state BJP chief Ram Bilas Sharma and the party's state affairs in-charge Jagdish Mukhi.
Bishnoi said as leader of the alliance, he had ensured that his party complied with the ethics and morality of the "sacred alliance".
"I organised numerous public meetings and gatherings. The hard work put in by me and my cadre led to the alliance winning seven of the 10 Lok Sabha seats in Haryana (in 2014). Credit of this admirable result goes to the efforts put in by HJC and BJP...
"It would be highly misconceived if BJP was to take the sole credit for the victory as it is far from real," he wrote.
With a section of BJP leaders not wanting to project him as the alliance's chief ministerial candidate anymore, Bishnoi said senior leaders including Narendra Modi, Sushma Swaraj, Arun Jaitley and Nitin Gadkari, had during several rallies "declared, confirmed, affirmed and complimented me as leader of the alliance and the first CM candidate of the alliance."
"All senior leaders including Modi have said in one voice that next Assembly polls would be fought under Bishnoi. However, I am pained and dismayed to share with you that in the past few months, predominantly after the Lok Sabha polls of 2014, we have noticed a drastic change of BJP state leaders towards our alliance," he mentioned.
He alleged that BJP state leaders were openly airing their views about altering the terms and conditions of the alliance agreement, and described it as "opportunistic.
"The state BJP President has been indulging in absolutely unwarranted, uncalled for petty, rash and unwise statements against me, personally as well as the party with an objective to tarnish my image without realising that it would go on to seriously damage the prospect of our alliance...
"Ram Bilas Sharma has alleged that I did not attend the rallies of senior leaders of BJP including Modi during Lok Sabha campaign, for which I was never invited, either formally or informally, either by Sharma or by anyone else," he wrote.
Seeking a meeting with Shah at the earliest to clear the air surrounding the alliance, he wrote: "Its only imperative, but more than critical that I meet you to bring clarity in and finality to the whole issue at hand."
He asserted that the HJC and its leaders and cadres were absolutely keen to contest the forthcoming Assembly polls under the existing alliance as it will be in the interest of both the parties and said that any delay or alteration in the terms of conditions will affect the prospects of both parties.
Cracks had surfaced in the BJP-HJC alliance in Haryana after the Lok Sabha polls, with demands from certain sections in BJP's state unit to either rework the tie-up or go alone in the Assembly elections.
Meanwhile, Haryana BJP Vice President Rajiv Jain said that the party had indeed told Bishnoi to rework the terms and conditions of the alliance in the light of the changed scenario after the Lok Sabha polls.
"But he has remained adamant. No BJP leader has ever said that alliance should be broken, but definitely, we have said that things should be re-worked," Jain said.
Jain said HJC had been given two seats for the Lok Sabha elections, both of which they lost.
"He could not save the seat on his home turf Hisar. After the LS poll results, there has been growing demand from our workers that terms and conditions of the alliance should be re-worked," he said.
In the letter, Bishnoi also claimed that there was a "deep-rooted conspiracy" by some elements to ensure that HJC and BJP do not come to power in Haryana.
"Kindly appreciate that we are less than two months away from the state Assembly polls in Haryana and any further delay in specific Assembly seat allocation will be self-destructive and will unnecessarily benefit our opponents," he wrote.
Bishnoi concluded by writing that in case the BJP has taken any "unilateral decision regarding our alliance," that may be conveyed to the HJC at the earliest.
Terming Bishnoi's projection as a CM candidate an "unwise decision", a section of BJP leaders from Haryana have pointed out to the party high command that Bishnoi has failed to retain his LS seat from Hisar in 2014 while another of his party candidate had lost from Sirsa parliamentary constituency.