BJP resting its faith on turncoats in Haryana polls: Will it be a boon or bane?

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Will turncoats help BJP in Haryana?
By declaring its remaining list of 47 candidates for the upcoming Haryana assembly polls, the BJP has rewarded around 15 turncoats by naming them in the second list. But it will be interesting to see whether presence of these candidates will prove a boon or a bane for the party.

Who all were given seats?

As per a Hindustan Times report, more than 15 of the 47 candidates, declared in the second list, had hopped over to the BJP from either the Congress or the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD). The Mullana (SC) BJP candidate, Santosh Sarwan, wife of former Haryana IAS officer ML Sarwan, is a former Congress leader and was also a minister in the government led by Bhajan Lal.

Its candidates from Thanesar, Pehowa, Kalayat and Kaithal, namely Subhash Sudha, Jai Bhagwan Sharma, Dharampal Sharma and Rao Surender Singh had come from Congress, says the report.

More than 15 candidates in the BJP's 2nd list are turncoats

Harvinder Kalyan, the BJP candidate from Gharaunda, had hopped from Congress, while former Congress MP from Sonepat, Jitender Malik, was given ticket from Ganuar. While Gohana ticket was given to Jai Singh Thekedar, who had joined BJP with Birender Singh and had contested in the recently concluded Lok Sabha election on an Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) ticket, the report added.

Surender Barwala, who had remained MP on INLD ticket, is BJP candidate from Jind, while Swatantra Bala Chaudhry who will contest from Fatehabad assembly too was from INLD.

Other turncoats who shifted from INLD included Pawan Beniwal (Ellenabad) and Abhay Singh Yadav (former IAS officer, who got ticket for Nangal Chaudhry) while INLD's Dariyav Singh Rajoura had also shifted to Congress before getting ticket for Jhajjar (SC) seat. Ram Ratan, who was given BJP ticket from Hodal (SC) too had shifted from Congress, said the report.

BJP downplays dynastic politics

The party however maintained its stand of not promoting dynastic politics. The party did not allocate tickets to the kin of the MPs, who were seeking assembly tickets for them. The party did not give ticket to Birender Singh, former Congress leader instead his wife Prem Lata has been fielded from Uchana Kalan, Singh's home turf.

The party has also denied tickets to Gurgaon MP Rao Inderjit Singh's daughter, Bhiwani-Mahendergarh MP Dharambir and Sonepat MP Ramesh Kaushik, who were seeking tickets for their respective brothers. Request from BJP MP from Ambala Rattan lal Kataria, who was seeking a ticket for his wife, was turned down. Likewise, former BJP MP Sudha Yadav was also denied a ticket.

The BJP has allocated 15 tickets to women, while its main opponent INLD has given to 11. It has also tried to accommodate candidates from all communities.

Will it help the BJP?

But, a question crossing every mind is whether this move will help the BJP or will it backfire at it? Since, the party has shown deep confidence in these turncoat leaders who will now be contesting under the saffron banner. Everyone's eyes will be fixed at the performance of these candidates.

Party's decision making will be assessed based on the performance of these turncoat candidates, who were offered seats. If these candidates win in their respective constituencies, it will automatically increase the party's chances of getting close to the magical figure of 46 seats. Else, it will mar the party's chances of coming to power.

The BJP would be desperately hoping that these candidates perform as per its expectations. These candidates were allocated tickets with the sole objective that they have a certain popularity in their region which will translate into votes. The basic idea behind giving preference to the turncoat candidates over own party members is that they'll boost the party's voter share.

In the Lok Sabha polls, the BJP had received a massive 34 per cent of votes in Haryana and hopes that induction of several other leaders would certainly increase the party's vote share in state polls.

Consequences of a poor show of turncoats?

The BJP will face a massive infighting if these turncoats fail to live up to the party's expectations because they were given preference over other party members. It will give a chance to the disgruntled lot to criticise the party leadership, adding up to the party's woes.

It will also give an opportunity to the former allies and the opposition to make a mockery of the party. Hence, a lot will be at stake for the BJP in the upcoming assembly polls.

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