The Haryana assembly elections have thrown up striking similarities with the 2009 polls — a hung House and a ruling party falling exactly six seats short of the majority mark.
In the 2009 assembly elections, the ruling Congress won 40 seats, the same as the BJP this time.
The Indian National Lok Dal, the main opposition party then won 31 seats, the same number the Congress bagged in the just concluded elections.
In 2009, the Congress got the support of seven independents.
Seven candidates have won as independents, and the BJP hopes to get their backing to form the next government.
Last time, Gopal Kanda was among the seven independent candidates who extended support to the ruling Congress.
Mr. Kanda is in the picture again, this time as a Haryana Lokhit Party MLA. Like last time, he has been elected from Sirsa.
Mr. Kanda was later made the Home Minister in the then Bhupinder Singh Hooda government. In 2012, he tendered his resignation after he was booked by the Delhi Police in a case of abetment to suicide.
Mr. Kanda has expressed support for the BJP this time. It is not immediately clear if he will get a berth in the Haryana Ministry, if the party forms the government with his help.
In 2009, the Congress also got the support of five of the six Haryana Janhit Congress MLAs apart from the independents, enabling it to form a stable government.
With “Lokhit” in its name, Kanda’s party may have a similar sound. But he is its lone MLA.
Haryana witnessed a hung assembly also in 1996 when the Congress won only nine seats and the Haryana Vikas Party, led by former chief minister Bansi Lal, bagged 33.
Later, Bansi Lal formed the government with the support of the BJP.