Haryana polls: BJP likely to contest alone, alliance with HJC on the edge?

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BJP leader Sushma Swaraj with HJC president Kuldeep Bishnoi.
Riding high on confidence with its impressive triumph in the Lok Sabha polls, an upbeat BJP is now eyeing to go alone in Haryana Assembly polls scheduled later this year and is optimistic about the victory as well. Having won seven of the state's 10 Lok Sabha seats, BJP seems to be in no mood to bank upon State's regional parties.

BJP's success in LS polls:

The BJP has so far always played second fiddle to regional players like Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) and Haryana Janhit Congress (HJC) in the state. INLD was a former BJP ally while HJC is party's existing partner in the State. But, BJP's performance in the Lok Sabha polls in which the party had alone won 282 seats -- credit goes to the Narendra Modi wave -- is propelling the party leadership to hang no more on the crutches of other parties.

Narendra Modi wave was responsible for BJP’s thumping victory in Haryana

BJP gains confidence with the fact that it had won 7 parliamentary seats while ruling Congress that had won 9 seats in the 2009 LS polls managed to win just one. Congress managed to retain only the Rohtak seat, the pocket borough of Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda.

HJC's poor show in LS polls:

The BJP with 8 seats, and HJC, 2 seats, went into the Lok Sabha polls together. HJC lost both the seats it had contested. Worst of all HJC president Kuldeep Bishnoi, son of former Chief Minister Bhajan Lal even failed to retain his own constituency, Hissar.

However, the INLD which is facing a credibility crisis in the state as its leader Om Prakash Chautala is facing jail under graft charges, during his stint as Haryana CM. The party had won two seats in the polls and hence would be looking to associate itself with the BJP for better prospects in the state polls. Although there is no official confirmation from BJP's side but series of recent events speaks everything.

Demand from party cadre:

After the roaring victory in 2014 Lok sabha election, party cadres invigorated their demand to dump its alliance with the HJC and contest alone. The HJC leadership reacted sharply, forcing some BJP leaders to go into a fire-fighting mode.

BJP leaders like Rao Inderjit Singh, VK Singh and Krishan Pal Gujjar have been actively involved in strengthening the BJP at the grassroots level in recent weeks.

All these developments might help the BJP part ways with the HJC and contest alone.

Lack of strong leadership, a challenge for BJP:

But, the BJP faces a tough problem though. The party lacks a strong leadership in Haryana to represent it on state level. The party's thumping win in the general elections was due to the Narendra Modi and it will have to depend on its poster boy to repeat the victory. The party needs to find a strong face from the state to project as the next Chief Minister.

On the other hand incumbent Hooda Government, which came to power in 2005 and again managed to retain its power in 2009 Assembly polls after roping in independents and HJC rebels, faces a daunting task as the BJP and INLD would give the Congress a tough fight.
With such a political situation, one can predict that the upcoming Assembly polls could end up to be a straight fight between two national parties - the BJP and the Congress.

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