JJP emerges kingmaker in Haryana

JJP, as well as the opposition Congress had promised to deal with agrarian crisis and massive unemployment, especially among the state’s Jats

By Jitendra
Published: Thursday 24 October 2019
Dushyant Chautala, the leader of the JJP. Photo: @Dchautala/Twitter

The newly formed Jannayak Janta Party (JJP), which emerged as the kingmaker in Haryana as results poured in on October 24, 2019.

Trends showed that JJP could win at least 10 seats in the 90-member Haryana Assembly. Both, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Congress could not reach the majority mark of 46.

JJP was founded in December 2018 by Dushyant Chautala, after breaking away from the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD).

There has been a clear shift of votes of INLD to JJP. In the 2014 assembly election, the INLD won 18 seats. This time, it was leading in only 1 seat.

The opposition Congress is leading in 31 seats. In 2014, it had won 15 seats.

Most of the JJP’s gains have been in Jat-dominated rural areas.

Fragmentation of land and shrinking of non-agrarian job opportunities have frustrated the powerful community. It has long been demanding reservation for itself in government jobs.

In the middle of February 2016, the Jat community launched a violent movement in Haryana aimed at achieving reservation. The movement was violently suppressed, resulting in the deaths of 20 people and injuries to another 200. 

According to the Centre for Monitoring India Economy, the unemployment rate in Haryana was at an all-time high. It rose to 28.7 per cent in August 2019, which is the highest in India, followed by Tripura (27.9 per cent) and Himachal Pradesh (19.2 per cent). Haryana’s unemployment rate is three times higher than the national average, which stood at 8.4 per cent.

Keeping in mind the prevailing unemployment, JJP promised 75 per cent reservation for locals in factories or industries set up in the state.

It also offered pensions for the elderly, free tube well connections for farmers, a cap on private school fee, farm loan waiver for farmers who took loans from cooperative banks, 10 per cent bonus on the procurement of crops, mobile dispensary facilities in rural areas and RO water in every village of Haryana.

The Congress, led by Jat community leader Bhupinder Singh Hooda also promised farm loan waiver within 24 hours, 33 per cent reservation of women, old age pensions of Rs 5,100 per month and free electricity of up to 300 units. 

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