In a major setback to the main opposition party in Haryana assembly INLD, it has lost the status of major opposition and Congress is invited to occupy the position. With the defection of two of its MLAs, its strength reduced from 17 to 15 in the state assembly. As a result, the Haryana assembly speaker removed Abhay Chautala as the leader of opposition and invited Congress, which is having 17 members, to forward their name for the post of `Leader of Opposition’.
“The INLD MLA count has come down to 15 as I have accepted the resignations of Ranbir Gangwa and Kehar Singh Rawat. Abhay Chautala has been removed as the leader of opposition,” said speaker Kanwar Pal.
Hathin MLA Rawat and Nalwa legislator Gangwa have switched sides to the BJP. “Gangwa and Rawat had submitted their resignations to my office before they joined the BJP. As there were holidays in between, I accepted their resignations now,” he added.
The speaker said he will write to the state president of the Congress, which has a strength of 17 MLAs and has emerged as the principal opposition now, to forward the name of their legislator for the post of LOP. Currently, Kiran Choudhry is the Congress legislature party leader and is likely to named as the LOP.
Abhay, while announcing his resignation on Saturday, had also has demanded disqualification of four INLD MLAs – Naina Chautala, Anoop Dhanak, Pirthi Nambardar and Randeep Phogat — who have sided with the Jannayak Janata Party (JJP), a breakaway outfit floated by his elder brother Ajay Chautala and his sons Hisar MP Dushyant Chautala and Digvijay Chautala.
On fate of these four INLDs, the speaker said, “There is a process for this which will be initiated. These four MLAs will be asked to clear their stance. If they say they have joined the JJP, then appropriate action will be taken, but if they deny, then Abhay Chautala will be asked to give proof to substantiate his claims”.
In the 90-member assembly, the ruling BJP has 48 members. One member each belongs to the Shiromani Akali Dal and the Bahujan Samaj Party, five are Independents while one seat fell vacant after the demise of INLD leader Jaswinder Singh Sandhu earlier this year. The INLD had suffered a heavy defeat in the Jind bypolls in January, with party candidate Umed Singh Redhu forfeiting his security deposit.