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June 22, 1999
BJP withdraws support to Bansi Lal govt in Haryana
The Bharatiya Janata Party in Haryana today withdrew support to the Bansi Lal government amid reports of an imminent merger of the Haryana Vikas Party with the Congress. Following this, Governor Mahabir Prasad asked Chief Minister Bansi Lal to prove his majority on the floor of the assembly by June 25.
The parting of ways came at a meeting of the Bharatiya Janata Party legislature party this morning. The directions to withdraw support came from Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
All the 11 legislators called on Governor Mahabir Prasad to convey the party's decision.
Briefing reporters, senior BJP vice-president K L Sharma, who accompanied the legislators, said the party's Central Parliamentary Board had taken the decision to end the alliance with the HVP on June 8.
But the board had left it to the prime minister to announce the decision.
Last evening, Vajpayee told Sharma and Haryana Education Minister Ram Bilas Sharma, who is the leader of the BJP in the assembly, to call a meeting of the legislature party and formally withdraw support to the HVP government.
Ram Bilas Sharma later announced that all efforts would be made to explore the possibilities of an alternative non-Congress government in the state.
Sharma and state BJP president Om Parkash Grover have been authorised to deal with the situation.
K L Sharma said that after the BJP's withdrawal from the alliance, Bansi Lal should resign since his government has been reduced to a minority.
The BJP politicians ruled out the possibility of Bansi Lal remaining in office after the withdrawal of their support.
They said Governor Prasad told them that he would take suitable steps under the Constitution.
The Indian National Lok Dal of former chief minister Om Prakash Chautala has welcomed the withdrawal of the BJP's support to the Bansi Lal government "though it was belated".
A joint meeting of the party executive and the legislature party later urged the governor to dismiss the government immediately.
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