Chandigarh, February 27: Four months after Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar retained power in Haryana despite a fractured mandate, he has suffered a first realpolitik setback. The coalition government led by him lost the support of independent legislator Balraj Kundu on Thursday. The MLA from Meham constituency announced that he would no longer be supporting the ruling regime due to "corruption" in the government.
"I had extended my support to an honest government and Chief Minister ML Khattar. Now, I have realized that their display of honesty is a farce. I will hand over a letter to the Assembly Speaker to withdraw my support tomorrow," Kundu said while addressing a press conference. 'Bharat Mata Ki Jai' Row Hits Haryana Assembly, Minister Anil Vij Warns Congress MLA Geeta Bhukkal Against 'Taunting' BJP Leaders.
The withdrawal of support comes nearly a month after Kundu was booked in a cheating case by the Haryana police. The legislator, along with his brother Shivraj Kundu, were accused of not paying money to a Rohtak resident which was due to him following a business transaction. The case was filed on January 18 under the relevant Indian Penal Code (IPC) sections.
Kundu had demanded the Chief Minister to act against local BJP leaders of the Rohtak unit, who allegedly framed him in the cheating case due to their political rivalry. If Khattar fails to act against them, the MLA had threatened last month to withdraw support to the coalition government.
Update by ANI
Independent Haryana MLA Balraj Kundu in Chandigarh: I had extended my support to an honest govt and Chief Minister ML Khattar. Now, I have realized that their display of honesty is a farce. I will hand over a letter to the Assembly Speaker to withdraw my support tomorrow. pic.twitter.com/ZV7yjg1FsC
— ANI (@ANI) February 27, 2020
Haryana currently has a coalition government comprising of 40 Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MLAs and 10 from the Jannayak Janta Party (JJP). They were also being supported by seven independent legislators, bringing the coalition's total strength to 57 in the 90-member assembly. The number has now dropped to 56 with Kundu's pullout from the Khattar government.