Mistrust among BJP-JJP has come to fore after they lost Baroda bypolls: Deepender Hooda

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Chandigarh, Nov 18 (PTI) Congress leader Deepender Singh Hooda on Wednesday claimed that 'mistrust' among the BJP-JJP coalition has come to fore after the ruling combine's defeat in the recently-held Baroda bypolls.

The Rajya Sabha MP also said the countdown of the year-old BJP-JJP government in the state has begun after their defeat in the bypolls.

Deepender Singh Hooda, son of former chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda, alleged there are visible cracks of mistrust between the coalition partners and added 'it is only a matter of time that this shaky building would collapse...their countdown has begun'.

'After the historic victory of the Congress in the Baroda bypolls, mistrust among the coalition partners has come to fore and the chief minister had to publicly say that the BJP did not get the JJP's vote in the by-election,' he said.

He said after the bypoll results, which were declared on November 10, Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar in response to a question of reporters on whether all votes of the coalition partner Jannayak Janta Party (JJP) got transferred to the BJP candidate, said had that happened, Yogeshwar Dutt would have secured 75,000 to 80,000 votes. 'In such a situation, the JJP should clarify if it accepts or rejects this statement of the chief minister. It is clear to everyone that Baroda results have created a crisis of confidence among coalition partners.

'These cracks are going to open up and the building built on lies and deceit will come crumbling down,' Hooda told reporters here.

This was the second time BJP's Dutt tasted defeat from Baroda. He had lost the 2019 Assembly polls by about 4,800 votes to Congress candidate Shri Krishan Hooda, who won the seat thrice in 2009, 2014 and 2019. The Congress MLA's demise in April had necessitated the bypolls.

Congress candidate Induraj Narwal polled 60,636 votes while Dutt secured 50,070. Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) nominee Joginder Singh Malik polled 5,003 votes while Loktantra Suraksha Party's Raj Kumar Saini got 5,601.

While the Bharatiya Janata Party and the JJP had separately contested the 2019 Assembly polls, this time the seat was contested by the BJP with former MP Ajay Singh Chautala-led party backing Dutt.

Hooda termed the chief minister's claims that the BJP-JJP's vote share has gone up this time from the 2019 Assembly polls as 'ridiculous'.

'The BJP-JJP (contesting separately) had polled 70,000 votes in the assembly elections from Baroda, but secured only 50,000 votes in the by-election. The chief minister should tell whether 50,000 is greater than 70,000? It is clear that the chief minister does not want to face the truth,' he questioned. The Rajya Sabha MP said the truth is that the Congress got around 40,000 votes from Baroda in the assembly polls and 60,000 votes in the by-election.

'This is despite the BJP being power and alliance partner backing the ruling candidate. Within one year, the BJP-JJP lost 20,000 votes and the Congress has increased its support base by 20,000 votes,' he said.

In response to a question, Hooda said while it is clear that 20,000 voters more have come to the Congress fold, the BJP and the JJP should decide amongst themselves which party's vote has shifted more to the Congress. He said the current government has passed the 'Right to Recall' law for sarpanches 'but the people of Baroda have used their right to recall against the government. The public has passed a motion of no confidence against the government and we will go to different parts of the state with this message'.

Newly-elected MLA from Baroda, Narwal said he would go to the doors of every minister to force the state government to complete the recently-announced schemes for Baroda's development.

'I will seek time to meet the chief minister and ask him to fulfil the promises made during the bypolls to the voters of Baroda,' he said. PTI SUN VSD KJ