What Lies Ahead For Haryana Government As Opposition Calls For Floor Test

On Tuesday, three independent MLAs, Sombir Sangwan, Randhir Golan, and Dharampal Gonder withdrew their support to the BJP and switched their allegiance to the Congress side.

Getty Images
Nayab Singh Saini and Union Minister of State and BJP Gurugram parliamentary constituency candidate, Rao Inderjit Singh Photo: Getty Images

Haryana is caught in the midst of a political storm with the opposition demanding a floor test after three independent MLAs withdrew their support from the incumbent BJP and crossed over to the other side.

Jannayak Janta Party (JJP) leader Dushyant Chautala, former BJP ally, on Thursday wrote to the Governor Bandaru Dattatreya seeking a floor test in efforts to topple the Nayab Singh Saini-led government, claiming that the BJP government had been reduced to a “minority”.

Congress party led by Aftab Ahmed and B B Batra has also submitted a memorandum at the Raj Bhavan calling for the dismissal of the BJP government and the imposition of President’s rule.

Why Did The Independent Leaders Withdraw Support?

On Tuesday, three independent MLAs, Sombir Sangwan (Charkhi Dadri), Randhir Golan (Pundri),and Dharampal Gonder (Nilokheri), who had allied with the BJP withdrew their support saying they would now back the Congress.

The announcement came at a press conference in Rohtak in the presence of Leader of the Opposition Bhupinder Singh Hooda and state Congress chief Udai Bhan, according to PTI.

“We are withdrawing support to the government and have decided to extend support to the Congress. We have taken this decision due to various issues, including those of farmers, inflation and unemployment,” one of the MLAs, Dharampal Gonder said at the press conference.

“The three Independent MLAs have extended their support to the Congress… The BJP government earlier had support of 10 JJP MLAs and Independents, but the JJP also withdrew support and now Independents are also leaving,” Udai Bhan said.

The move came after the JJP in March broke off its alliance with the BJP, and its 10 MLAs withdrew support to the saffron party, following which the then Haryana CM Manohar Lal Khattar filed his resignation. Nayab Singh Saini was made the CM.

Assembly Seat Mathematics

Haryana's Assembly has 90 seats, but two recently became vacant, one when the former Chief Minister Manohar Lal resigned and the other when Independent MLA Ranjit Chautala resigned after joining the BJP. The current strength is 88, and the majority mark 45.

In 2019 assembly elections the BJP won 40 seats but fell short of the majority by six seats. To form the government, BJP joined hands with Jannayak Janta Party (JJP), which had won 10 seats. However, in March, BJP and JJP ended their alliance and now three independent leaders have switched sides.

BJP currently has 40 MLAs, and enjoys the support of two independent MLAs and one MLA from Haryana Lokhit Party.

Congress on the other hand has 30 MLAs, allied with 10 JJP MLAs, one INLD MLA, one independent MLA Balraj Kundu and the three independent MLAs who have just joined the side, bringing the total to 45.

Demands for floor test

Reacting to calls for a floor test, CM Nayab Singh Saini on Thursday said that the floor test was not a threat to his government and he could win the trust vote in the House, according to Hindustan Times reports.

In March this year, the Opposition Congress, led by former chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda, moved a no-confidence motion. However, Saini's government survived the vote and remained in power.

“He (Dushyant Chautala) should know what his legislators did in the assembly. Does he have the numbers? But we have the numbers. I won the floor test and if required I will do it again. There is no threat to the government,” Saini told reporters.

After Dushyant Chautala pushed for a floor test, four JJP MLAs reportedly visited the residence of former CM Khattar on Thursday.

According to a Hindustan Times report, eight out of ten JJP MLAs are opposed to Chautala’s leadership and politics.

“When eight of the 10 JJP legislators are against Dushyant, how can he write to the governor without meeting them?” Tohana MLA Devender Babli said, according to Hindustan Times.

“Dushyant has the support of only his mother, Badhra MLA Naina Chautala. The rest of the MLAs are in favour of changing him. He should resign as legislature party leader otherwise the other MLAs will sack him.”

A notice has been served to the JJP MLAs involved in “anti-party activities”.