The ruling BJP exuded confidence ahead of the polls that it would win 75-plus seats in the 90-member Haryana assembly. However, that appears to have been badly misplaced with the party falling short of the magic figure of 46 required for a majority.
Amit Shah is playing a key role in gathering support for government formation with the help of independents.
The Congress which was in power for ten years from 2004 to 2014 unleashed a populist manifesto promising loan waivers for farmers and 33% reservation for women in government jobs in a bid to steal the BJP's thunder. This has paid dividends for the party which has ended a strong second.
The surprise package is the Jannayak Janata Party (JJP) which was formed less than a year ago after breaking away from the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD). Led by Dushyant Chautala, the great-grandson of former deputy PM Devi Lal, the JJP appears to have taken most of the INLD's vote share along with it in the Jat belt.
The BJP, Congress and JJP each contested all the 90 seats. The BJP's candidates included three sportspersons -- Olympic bronze medalist Yogeshwar Dutt, former Indian hockey captain Sandeep Singh and wrestler Babita Phogat -- as well as TikTok star Sonali Phogat. Yogeshwar Dutt and Sonali Phogat lost while Sandeep Singh emerged victorious.
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