Will the BJP-INLD tie-up work again?

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Chandigarh, Oct 26: Haryana BJP legislature party leader Ram Kumar Gautam's appeal to review the party's alliance with the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) has come as an embarrassment for the BJP high command which announced the tie-up recently despite the reported opposition of the state leadership.

Releasing to the media his letter to senior BJP leader L K Advani earlier this week, Mr Gautam had not only appealed to Mr Advani to revoke the alliance but also warned him that the people of Haryana would not forgive him if he did not revoke the decision.

Mr Gautam claimed that majority of the BJP workers and the people in Haryana were against the tie-up with the INLD as 90 per cent of the people in the state ''hated'' INLD supremo Om Prakash Chautala.

He claimed that the BJP would not be able to garner even a single Lok Sabha seat in the coming Parliamentary elections if it contested the polls in alliance with the INLD.

Mr Gautam reminded Mr Advani that the INLD supremo had an understanding with the BJP in Haryana in 2000 assembly elections also but after becoming the Chief Minister, he had "humiliated" the BJP leaders in the state.

Haryana BJP chief Atam Prakash Manchanda meanwhile maintained that the alliance decision was taken by the high command and the state leadership would abide by it.

Asked if the state leadership was contemplating any action against Mr Gautam for publicly going against the party line, Mr Manchanda said it was only the BJP high command which could take such a decision.
However, INLD leaders and pro-alliance sources in the BJP claimed that the alliance would sweep the coming Lok Sabha polls in Haryana as the two parties had always benefitted in the past whenever they contested elections together. The BJP had joined hands with the INLD in 1999 Parliamentary elections and the two parties won five seats each out of the total ten Lok Sabha seats.

The BJP had also fought the 2000 assembly elections in Haryana in alliance with the INLD and the alliance secured a majority winning 53 of the 90 seats. While the INLD won 47 seats, the BJP garnered six.

The BJP extended outside support to the government headed by Mr Om Prakash Chautala. However, the state BJP leaders later started complaining that they were sidelined by the INLD supremo.

The alliance broke ahead of the 2004 Lok Sabha polls which the two parties contested separately, with dismal results for both of them. While the BJP won only one seat, the INLD could not secure even a single seat. Nine out of the ten seats were won by the Congress alone.

The 2005 assembly elections in Haryana were again contested by the BJP and INLD separately. The Congress swept the polls, winning 67 of the 90 seats. The INLD could secure nine only while the BJP was reduced to two.

The INLD leaders and a section of the BJP was hopeful that the revival of the alliance would once again brighten the poll prospects of the two parties.


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