At the end of the counting of votes and the results were declared for all the 90 seats of the Haryana Assembly on Thursday, the ruling BJP led by Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar failed to touch the magical number of 46 required to form the government as the party could manage only 40 seats. Khattar though emerged victorious from the Karnal seat with a total of 79, 906 votes (63.72%).
State BJP chief Subhash Barala and eight of the ministers in the cabinet have lost the election as the saffron party received a total of 36.49 per cent of votes. Subhash Barala lost the Tohana Assembly seat in Fatehabad district by 52,302 votes to JJP’s Devender Singh Babli.
Congress, which had been battling factionalism, put up a surprisingly much better show than expected as it finished with 31 seats, a jump of 16 seats. Former Congress Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda also managed to win as he polled 97, 755 votes (65.82%) from his stronghold of Garhi Sampla-Kiloi.
But, the most impressive show was put up by Dushyant Chautala led Jannayak Janata Party (JJP), which broke away from the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) in December 2018 as it bagged 10 seats while the INLD settled with a single seat.
The Haryana Lokhit Party also got one while seven Independents emerged victorious.
BJP’s outgoing ministers, Captain Abhimanyu, OP Dhankar, Ram Bilas Sharma, Kavita Jain, Krishan Lal Panwar, Manish Grover, Karan Dev Kamboj, and Krishan Kumar Bedi ended up with humiliating defeats.
Kuldeep Bishnoi of Congress defeated his nearest rival and TikTok celebrity Sonali Phogat of the BJP by 29, 471 votes while JJP chief Dushyant Chautala and his mother Naina Chautala won the Uchana Kalan and Badhra seats, respectively.
Randeep Singh Surjewala, fielded by Congress from Kaithal, lost to BJP’s Leela Ram by a meager 1, 246 votes.
With neither the BJP nor Congress getting the majority, all eyes would be on the JJP and others whose support would prove to be crucial in the formation of the new government in the state.
Election to the 90-seat Legislative Assembly of Haryana was held in a single phase on October 21. The voter turnout showed a slump this time with Haryana registering 65 per cent, down from 76.54 per cent in 2014.