- Ram Kumar Gautam, a senior JJP leader, resigned on Wednesday
- He quit after going public with his criticism of Dushyant Chautala
- Dushyant Chautala "forgot his family" after coming to power, he said
Trouble has erupted for the ruling BJP's Haryana ally Dushyant Chautala, with a senior leader of his Jannayak Janta Party (JJP) quitting his party post in a huff. Ram Kumar Gautam, an MLA, resigned on Wednesday as the party's vice president after going public with his criticism of Dushyant Chautala.
Dushyant Chautala "should not forget that he became Deputy Chief Minister with the support of his party legislators," said Ram Kumar Gautam, 73, in a rant against the JJP chief whose support helped the BJP form government in Haryana after elections in October delivered a hung verdict.
Dushyant Chautala was called out for joining hands with a party he had campaigned aggressively against in the election. Videos of him targeting the BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi also circulated on social media.
Mr Gautam said the JJP-BJP alliance was sealed without the knowledge of most leaders of the party.
"They sealed the alliance at Ambience Mall. People are hurt and all the MLAs are very upset. Dushyant took all the big posts. What about the other nine MLAs? Haven't they been voted by people? It is a huge blow for us," Mr Gautam, furious, told reporters.
According to him, the deputy chief minister had kept 11 ministries while only one party MLA had been made a junior minister with "insignificant" portfolios.
The JJP chief had "forgotten his family" after coming to power, said the JJP leader. He also complained that his party boss had recently joined hands with a prominent BJP leader.
Dushyant Chautala said he had learnt about Mr Gautam's resignation only from the media. "I just came to know from you and I will speak to him (Gautam)," he said."
Mr Gautam was seen to be a ministerial candidate after the JJP tied up with the BJP, but it did not happen. "I was not even expecting to contest the polls. But Dushyant and his father Ajay Chautala were keen that I should join them. They knew I was the only one who can defeat sitting BJP MLA Captain Abhimanyu," he said.
He clarified, however, that he would not quit the party. "People have elected me, I have a responsibility towards them. If I resign from my party, I will lose the seat as well and I cannot leave my constituents in the lurch. Besides, I nurtured the party with my sweat and blood," he said.