NEW DELHI: The trends of the vote count in Haryana on Thursday indicate that the ruling BJP's hardliner nationalistic agenda vis-a-vis Article 370 did not help much in rural areas as the party seemed to have lost ground in as many as 17 seats in interior parts.
Of the trends available so far, the Congress seemed to have taken leads in at least 24 assembly seats in rural Haryana and 33 seats in total in the 90-member assembly.
However, in this year's polls the nascent Jannayak Janta Party (JJP) of Dushyant Chautala has emerged a key player and it may even get the chance to play 'kingmaker'.
A jubilant Chautala, a former MP, could not conceal his excitement and said: "Till the other day, everyone dismissed us as 'baccha' (kid's) party. But most giants from the rival parties have been humbled by our candidates. "
"I can say for sure, in Haryana the vote is for change," he said.
His party has already started getting feelers from both the BJP and the Congress.
For BJP, while it has able to retain the position of single largest party in a state -where it gave a non-Jat Chief Minister for last five years; but its final tally may fall short of half-way 45 seats mark.
The latest trends show the saffron party may end up win only 41 seats.
The Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar may visit New Delhi on Thursday afternoon to conclave with top leaders including BJP chief Amit Shah and party's working president J P Nadda.