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Haryana assembly polls: BJP to focus on 'Mission 60 Plus'

Haryana polls: BJP to focus on 'Mission 60 Plus'Chandigarh: Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is gearing up for Haryana assembly polls to be held next month with "Mission 60 plus" being the catchline of its campaigning.The campaign takes cue from senior BJP leader and Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh who recently asked the state party unit to revise the number of their 'Mission 46 plus' (majority needed to form the government in Haryana) to 'Mission 60 plus'.

The saffron party that was restricted to playing second fiddle to Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) and the then Bansi Lal led Haryana Vikas Party (later merged with Congress) has decided to contest from all the 90 assembly seats on its own in the upcoming polls on October 15.

From having six legislators in 2000, two in 2005 and just four in 2009, BJP is hoping to wrest power from the Congress, which has been in power in the state for the past two consecutive terms. "People gave us overwhelming support in the Lok Sabha polls. They are fed up with the Congress rule in the state, which has taken Haryana backward with corruption, land scams, poor law and order, unemployment and lopsided development.

These have been the main achievements of the Hooda government," Haryana BJP legislature leader and Ambala Cantt MLA, Anil Vij said. Vij added that "people will reject the Congress and other parties and bring BJP to power to usher in an era of peace and overall development in the state."  BJP's best electoral performance in the state so far has been winning 16 seats out of the 20 contested by the party in 1987, when Devi Lal-led INLD had swept to power.

However, in 1991, BJP again went down, managing to win just two seats. In 1996, the party went on to win 11 seats. After former Deputy Chief Minister Dr Mangal Sain, BJP failed to bring out leaders who would match his popularity and appeal. For the October 15 elections, the party had released its first list of 43 candidates on September 9 that included many turncoats who recently joined the outfit, mainly from the Congress and INLD.

The list also included Birender Singh who snapped his 42-year-old ties with the Congress. Birender Singh, a prominent leader who belongs to the predominant Jat community and has on past several occasions made his Chief Ministerial aspirations public failed to get a ticket from the saffron party.

The party has also attempted to break away from its non-Jat urban identity by accommodating many Jat candidates in the first list of candidates. However, the party is unlikely to announce its Chief Ministerial candidate ahead of the polls. As the party fancies to capture power, BJP did not agree to its erstwhile ally Haryana Janhit Congress' demand of sparing 45 seats for the junior partner, which failed to win its two Lok Sabha seats it contested this year including Hisar.

Ultimately, Kuldeep Bishnoi led HJC decided to walk away, with the party chief last month snapping ties with the BJP alleging repeated betrayal by the saffron party. To bolster its poll prospects, the BJP has already covered all 90 assembly segments and nearly 1,000 villages by way of four Vijay Sankalp Yatras. However, ruling Congress claims that BJP's dream of capturing power in Haryana will never be realised.

"Their 'achhe din' myth stands exposed and the artificially created bubble has burst," Haryana Cabinet Minister and senior Congress leader Randeep Singh Surjewala told PTI while commenting on yesterday's bypoll results in some states. He said the people will reject the saffron party in the upcoming Haryana polls and once again bring back Congress on the basis of development work which the ruling outfit has carried out in the State.

"BJP suffers from a phobia of arrogance in Haryana and has become an accumulating point for defectors, opportunists and rejected leaders," the Congress spokesman said. He also charged the BJP of playing "opportunistic brand of politics."


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