The Congress on Friday accused the Bharatiya Janata Party of using allurement of money and power to get a majority in the Haryana Assembly, and said that such a government would be “illegitimate”, PTI reported. The BJP won 40 out of the 90 seats in the Haryana legislature, while the Congress came second with 31 seats. The majority mark in the Assembly is 46.

Haryana Lokhit Party leader Gopal Kanda, who won the Sirsa seat, said on Friday that he and the Independents have decided to unconditionally support the BJP. This statement led to a backlash from the Congress.

“I think you should look at the statements made by [Prime Minister] Narendra Modi and [BJP chief] Amit Shah at the time when Gopal Kanda was a minister in the [Congress] government in Haryana, when we forced him to resign after registration of a case and also removed him from ministership,” Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said. “What was the stance of the BJP then and what sort of doublespeak is the BJP doing today?”

Surjewala also blamed money and “muscle power” for the losses of some Congress candidates by small margins, and alleged that votes had been recounted to ensure the defeat of the candidates. “Whatever they may do, finally democracy has prevailed and democracy has spoken,” he said of the result. “BJP has not been given a mandate to rule. Any government that the BJP forms will be an illegitimate and illegally constituted government.”

Surjewala also said that only Haryana Congress leaders Bhupinder Singh Hooda and Kumari Selja will take a decision on whether the party would make efforts to form a government.

Apart from 40 seats won by the BJP and 31 by Congress, the Jannayak Janata Party won 10 seats, putting it in the position of a kingmaker. The Indian National Lok Dal and Haryana Lokhit Party bagged one seat each. Independent candidates won seven seats.

BJP to elect chief minister on Saturday

Meanwhile, the BJP will hold a legislative party meet at 11 am on Saturday to elect their contender for the chief minister’s position, The Indian Express reported on Friday. Following this, the party will approach Governor Satyadev Narayan Arya to stake claim to form a government.

Five Independent legislators – Dharampal Gondan, Nayan Pal Rawat, Sombir Sangwan, Rakesh Daulatabad and Randheer Golan – met BJP Working President Jagat Prakash Nadda on Friday and offered their support to form the government, party leader Jawahar Yadav said, according to the Hindustan Times.

Uma Bharti opposes Gopal Kanda’s proposed alliance with BJP

In a series of tweets on Friday, BJP leader Uma Bharti advised Narendra Modi and Amit Shah not to take Kanda along while forming the government. “If Gopal Kanda is the same person due to whom a girl and her mother had committed suicide, the matter is in court right now, and this individual is out on bail,” Bharti said. “The law will decide whether Gopal Kanda is innocent or guilty, but his victory in the elections does not absolve him of the crime.”

The BJP leader appealed to Modi and Shah not to forget the party’s values. She said that while it is necessary to form a BJP government in Haryana, it should include only those leaders who have a clean record.

All India Mahila Congress President Sushmita Dev on Friday wrote to Amit Shah with a similar appeal, ANI reported. In her letter, she said: “Gopal Kanda has been accused of rape, abetment of suicide, hatching a criminal conspiracy in connection with the suicide case. Forging an alliance with a criminal like him raises a question on BJP’s resolution of providing security to women.”

Now, follow and debate the day’s most significant stories on Scroll Exchange.