Dushyant Chautala's Jannayak Janata Party (JJP) may have performed admirably in the Haryana elections, even poising itself as the kingmaker for the next government, but it has stopped short of pulling off a victory in the Jind assembly constituency.
BJP candidate Krishan Lal Middha defeated his JJP counterpart, Mahabir Gupta, by a margin of nearly 12,500 votes in the Jat-dominated constituency -- scoring 58,180 votes to the latter's 45,704.
Nevetheless, the JJP -- with its 10 seats -- had much to gain in this election. As results of the just-concluded state assembly elections poured in, the BJP was seen to have won 23 seats across Haryana and gathered leads in 17. The Congress, on the other hand, had scored 19 seats and was leading in 12. If these trends hold as the day wears on, both parties will likely fall short of the halfway mark of 46 - opening a crucial door of opportunity for Dushyant Chautala's outfit.
The JJP leader had claimed just as much earlier in the day, with initial trends indicating that the Manohar Lal Khattar-led BJP would not be able to achieve a majority on its own. "I believe the key (to the next government) lies in the hands of the JJP," he said.
The key, incidentally, is the JJP's party symbol.
Dushyant Chautala -- California State University graduate and great grandson of former Deputy Prime Minister Devi Lal -- defeated Prem Lata of the BJP by nearly 50,000 seats in the Uchana Kalan assembly constituency. And now, with trends pointing to a hung assembly in Haryana, the JJP chief has called a meeting of the party executive on Friday morning to discuss its future strategy. Some reports even suggest that he is demanding the chief minister's position as a pre-condition for a political alliance with the BJP or Congress.