With the Haryana assembly heading for a fractured mandate, senior Congress leader and former chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda on Thursday urged non-Bharatiya Janata Party outfits to join hands.
"This mandate is against the BJP. The Jannayak Janta Party, Indian National Lok Dal and others, including the Independents, should join hands with the Congress to keep the BJP at bay," the two-time chief minister told reporters in Rohtak.
On being asked if the Congress had made an offer of the chief minister's post to Jannayak Janta Party chief Dushyant Chautala, Hooda said no such talk had taken place.
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Hooda, who is leading by a comfortable margin from his stronghold Garhi Sampla-Kiloi in Rohtak district, said the people had given their mandate against the BJP over it's "non-fulfilment of promises and non-performance".
Appealing non-BJP outfits to join hands with the Congress, Hooda assured them that they would be given due respect. "We are prepared to form a strong government," he said.
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Taking a jibe at the BJP, Hooda said: "Those who were claiming to win more than 75 seats, people have shown them the reality and they have been limited to around 30 seats."
The Congress leader said the ruling BJP had no moral right to stay in power as it looked way off from even getting the majority. "Many of their ministers are facing defeat," he said.
He alleged that Independents were not allowed a free hand by the ruling BJP.