Shakeup in Haryana: BJP looks to consolidate OBC votes - The Tribune India

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Shakeup in Haryana

BJP looks to consolidate OBC votes

Shakeup in Haryana

Photo for representational purpose only. - File photo



PURSUING its time-tested strategy of not letting any chief minister take his or her chair for granted, the BJP has effected a shakeup in Haryana, which will witness both Lok Sabha and Assembly elections this year. The ruling party has replaced Manohar Lal Khattar, the incumbent CM for over nine years, with OBC leader Nayab Singh Saini. This is an attempt to consolidate non-Jat votes in the state and buck anti-incumbency. In recent months, the party’s outreach to the OBC community has been evident in its selection of Mohan Yadav as Madhya Pradesh CM, besides the bestowal of the Bharat Ratna on former Bihar CM and OBC icon Karpoori Thakur.

The BJP is hoping that its Uttarakhand-style rejig would reap dividends in Haryana. In March 2021, the party had replaced Trivendra Singh Rawat with Tirath Singh Rawat as the CM of the hill state; a few months later, Tirath had made way for Pushkar Singh Dhami. The experiment worked as the BJP won the 2022 Assembly elections. This method had borne fruit in Gujarat as well.

In Haryana, the party is now banking on a younger leadership to counter the challenge from the Congress, the Jannayak Janta Party (JJP) and the Indian National Lok Dal. The changing of the guard has coincided with a split between the BJP and the JJP after the two parties failed to arrive at a consensus on seat-sharing for the Lok Sabha elections. The move of BJP MP Brijendra Singh to the Congress camp has also prompted the saffron party to revamp its state unit. Late last year, the BJP had managed to retain Madhya Pradesh despite anti-incumbency and infighting. It remains to be seen if the party high command and the state leadership would be able to do the same in Haryana.

#BJP #Lok Sabha #Manohar Lal Khattar


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