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Caste exercise the single most important influence on politics in Haryana. Some of the classes and castes had a more or less set pattern of political behavior. In Haryana the middle caste group consists of the Jats and the Ahirs who make excellent soldiers have developed a respect for personality and a sense of superiority to others. They must, almost as a rule, give first preference to their own caste. The Jats are traditionally imbued with the ambition of love of power and they have been basically anti-Congress, particularly because of the influence of the Unionist party.

If any thing, the role of caste in politics has progressively increased. It is well said that "In Haryana, on is a jat, a Dhanak, a Chamar, a Brahmin, a Bania, An Ahir, A Meo or a Sikh before he is anything else". Most political parties, right from the time of nomination till the completion of elections, tend to operate on caste lines. At times, even parties are made or unmade on caste basis. With the modernisation of the state caste influence in voting should have been reduced. But this has not been so.

Haryana came into being 1s a separate state on 1st November, 1966 following the linguistic reorganisation of the joint Punjab into Hindi-speaking Haryana and the Punjabi-speaking Punjab The demand for linguistic reorganisation with a view to creating 'Punjabi Suba' was spear-headed by the Punjabi Sikh elements. However, the people of Haryana had a strong feeling that as part of Punjab they were an exploited lot, so that like the Sikhs, they also favored reoganisation and division of the state into Punjab and Haryana.

The Haryana Assembly [Vidhan Sabha] comprises 90 Members of Legislative Assembly, directly elected from single-seat constituencies. Haryana has 6 administrative divisions, 22 districts, 72 sub-divisions, 93 revenue tehsils, 50 sub-tehsils, 140 community development blocks, 154 cities and towns, 6,848 villages and 6222 villages panchayats.

Gopal Goyal Kanda was with the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) in 2009 when he decided to contest the Haryana elections. INLD refused to field him but he contested as an Independent candidate and won. With the Hooda-led Congress falling short of a majority, he had enough leverage to become a minister. BJP had raised a huge opposition to Kanda's induction in the Hooda government. Kanda along with his wife Saraswati Devi, had been accused of income tax evasion to the tune of Rs 40 crore in several cheating cases.

In 2012, Kanda was arrested after Geetika Sharma, one of his employees, left suicide notes accusing him of harassment and abuse. At the time, the BJP had held protests against him, demanding his resignation as minister and his arrest. Geetika's mother also committed suicide later.

Jats are commonly considered to be of Indo-Aryan stock in view of the similar ethnological, cultural, physical features, and common practices. Around 25 percent of total electorate in Haryana are Jats, the remaining 75 percent are non-Jats, which include Dalits, Brahmins, Yadavs, Gujjars, Baniyas, Rajputs among others. Dalits voters form around 20 percent in the state. Previous trends of Harya Assembly Elections show that the Jat vote bank has traditionally voted for the Congress and Indian National Lok Dal. After INLDs split, its Jannayak Janta Party was also dependent on the Jat votes. However BJP during the elections consolidated that non-Jat voters and won the 2019 elections.

The BJP was confident of victory after its sweep in the Lok Sabha polls, while the Congress was looking to regain lost ground amid infighting within the party. The state went go to polls on October 21 and the results were announced on 24 October 2019.

While the BJP won 40 seats in the 90-member assembly, Congress won 31 seats in the state. The BJP got the support of Independents, but was short of at least 6 MLAs to form the government, and Congress had not given up efforts to form a government in the state. After the fractured mandate it received in the Haryana Assembly elections, the Bharatiya Janata Party was in talks with the chief of Haryana Lokhit Party, Gopal Goyal Kanda, a tainted MLA and a controversial figure, for his support to form the new government. With the support of Kanda and seven other Independents, it is expected to make up the shortfall easily.

Jannayak Janta Party (JJP) chief Dushyant Chautala said that his party will support any party in the formation of government in Haryana which agrees to a common minimum program. Chautal said that one of the key demands of the JJP is to give 75% reservation for native Haryanvis in government jobs. His another main demand was the implementation of Chaudhary Devi Lal's idea of old age pension. Chautala's party which was formed eleven months ago won won 10 seats in its debut Assembly polls.

The BJP, which was six short of a majority in Haryana, got a shot in the arm on 25 October 2019 as tainted MLA Gopal Kanda and seven other independents extended their support to Manohar Lal Khattar to form the government in the state.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Jannayak Janata Party (JJP) on 26 October 2019 sealed the deal for government formation in Haryana, with the latter's Dushyant Chautala as the Deputy Chief Minister. Manohar Lal Khattar was sworn in as the Chief Minister of Haryana on 27 October 2019 where the BJP formed a government, state's first non-Congress government at the helm for the second consecutive term. The saffron party formed the government in alliance with the newly formed Jannayak Janta Party (JJP) led by Dushyant Chautala, who took oath as Khattar's deputy.

Bharatiya Janata Party and Jannayak Janata Party coalition government's first cabinet expansion took place after November 4. The allotment of portfolios and creating a regional, caste and gender balance was no less than a litmus test for the allies who till election results were on opposite sides.

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Page last modified: 13-09-2021 14:50:16 ZULU