Haryana Deputy CM Dushyant Chautala in Chandigarh on Tuesday. (Express Photo by Jasbir Malhi)
The Jannayak Janta Party (JJP) Tuesday declared that it would not contest the February 8 Delhi Assembly polls as it failed to get any of the three election symbols it had applied for. It will now support the BJP nominees.
Party leader and Haryana Deputy Chief Minister Dushyant Chautala told reporters in Chandigarh that the election symbols of “key”, “pair of slippers” and “cup and saucer”, on which the JJP candidates had contested elections earlier, were all reserved by some other outfits for the Delhi polls. “We had requested the Election Commission to allot us “key” or “slippers”, but were told that both had been reserved by some other outfits,” Dushyant said, adding the ECI told the party Monday that even the “cup and saucer” symbol was also not available.
The “key” symbol was reserved by other political outfits in September last year and the other two symbols in December.
Dushyant said the JJP discussed the issue of election symbol with party patron Ajay Singh Chautala and thereafter decided not to field its candidates for the Delhi polls.
“If our candidates fight the polls on a new symbol, they may have to bear loss as a result,” he said, adding the JJP will now extend support to the nominees of the BJP, its alliance partner in Haryana.
“We need to strongly oppose the forces which are trying to mislead public on the issues of CAA and NRC.” he said..
The JJP had been recognised as a “state party” in Haryana by the Election Commission and allotted “key” as its reserved symbol in the state.
On Shiromani Akali Dal’s decision to not contest Delhi polls after it was asked by the saffron party to reconsider its stand on the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, Dushyant said, “It is their own decision”. “If there is any such law which takes away citizenship of any Indian, then we will be against it. But CAA does not threaten citizenship of those who are Indians,” he said.
Earlier, the JJP had identified 18 “potential” seats to consider to field its candidates for the Delhi polls. The JJP leaders claim that the party has influence in about a dozen constituencies.
The JJP was formed after a split in the INLD following a feud in the Chautala clan. It had contested last year’s Lok Sabha polls with the Aam Aadmi Party in Haryana, but the two parted ways ahead of the state assembly election.
“We secured 18 lakh votes in last year’s Haryana Assembly elections. It was 15 per cent of the total voter turnout. Now, we have added 3.65 lakh new members to the party in a special membership drive,” Dushyant said.
The JJP won 10 of the 90 seats in Haryana assembly polls held in October 2019 and extended support to the BJP which bagged 40 seats.