Less than two months after forming government in Haryana in alliance with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the Jannayak Janata Party (JJP) is facing a revolt within its ranks, according to reports.
Reports suggest that the party’s national vice president and one of the founding members of the party, Ram Kumar Gautam, quit from his organisational post over denial of a Cabinet berth from the party’s quota.
Gautam, who defeated former state Finance Minister Captain Abhimanyu from Narnaund assembly constituency, told The Indian Express that he is not quitting the party but has resigned because JJP chief Dushyant Chautala kept 10 portfolios in the state cabinet for himself, leaving only one for another legislator.
Keeping all the important portfolios for himself, reports suggest that Chautala, who is the Deputy Chief Minister, has made two-time MLA Anoop Dhanak Minister of State (independent charge), Archaeology and Museums.
“He is keeping all the portfolios, including industry, excise and taxation, PWD (B&R), revenue and food and supply with him… What can we do? He did not share power with anybody else. He made me MLA, but we have made him Deputy Chief Minister,” Gautam said, adding that the portfolio given to Dhanak is a “joke” on him and his community.
Gautam added that since the party is not a national party, he quit his post because “there was no need of remaining under the burden of the post”.
Sources told the newspaper that while the JJP has another Cabinet berth in its quota, the party does not plan on filling it anytime soon.
Apart from the sharing of Cabinet berths, Gautam also said he was unhappy with the way the alliance between JJP and BJP was sealed, reportedly without the knowledge of the JJP MLAs.
“I am not hurt that I was not made minister, but hurt that I got to know later that the alliance was sealed in a meeting at a Gurugram mall,” Gautam said, according to an India Today report.
Reacting to the development, Chautala said the party hasn’t received Gautam’s resignation yet.
“He is a senior leader, if he has some grievance, he can come and tell the party members. We’ve not received his resignation yet. Senior party leaders will talk to him and discuss the matter,” Chautala was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
JJP had extended support to BJP after the latter failed to secure a simple majority in Haryana assembly. Now, say experts, with signs of trouble within the party and Gautam claiming that “nothing is going right in JJP”, opposition parties could try and poach JJP MLAs to topple the BJP-led government.