Switching sides? JJP MLA Devender Babli opts for secret ballot to take call : The Tribune India

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Switching sides? JJP MLA Devender Babli opts for secret ballot to take call

73.5% of Babli's supporters authorise him to take decision

Switching sides? JJP MLA Devender Babli opts for secret ballot to take call

JJP MLA Devender Babli interacts with the mediapersons in Tohana.

Tribune News Service

Deepender Deswal

Hisar, May 18

The outcome of an opinion poll conducted through secret ballot by former Haryana minister and JJP MLA Devender Babli to decide his next political move has kept the suspense alive, as about 73.5% of his supporters authorised him to take the decision.

Babli, the MLA from Tohana, has been at odds with the JJP leadership for the past many days and has even avoided campaigning for party candidates.

Announcing the results, Babli said 73.5% of the people have ticked the option of “Jahan Babli Vahan Hum”, authorising him to take any decision, while 17% supporters opted for the Congress and 9% for the BJP. Just .5% of his supporters out of total ballots have selected the option of staying in the JJP.

Though Babli didn’t disclose the exact number of ballots, he said about 3,000 of his supporters have cast their votes though secret ballots in the boxes in his office till yesterday. Interacting with the media, the JJP MLA said he would hold a public meeting in Tohana tomorrow and take a final decision about his next political course. He said the outcome of the opinion poll indicated that he was unlikely to remain in the JJP. Babli said he would further consult his close aides and go by their decision. “If they feel that I need to contest the election as an Independent, I will also do that or even stay away from the assembly polls,” he said.

Sources close to him said he has been desperate to contest the next assembly election in October from the Tohana segment. As he was unlikely to remain in the JJP, he also has slim chance of getting ticket from the Congress which already has plenty of claimants, said a source close to him. He also did not have good political terms with former BJP state president Subhash Barala, who is a Rajya Sabha MP now. Babli had defeated Barala from the Tohana Assembly segment in 2019 by about 52,000 votes.

Babli had revolted against the JJP leadership and even engaged in an ugly spat with JJP chief Ajay Singh Chautala recently when Chautala termed Babli as a burden on the party. Babli retorted that Dushyant Chautala (Ajay’s son) to get his father treated. JJP leader Digvijay Chautala even accused Babli of orchestrating conspiracy and backstabbing the party.

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