Chandigarh, Nov 10 : The ruling Congress reached the half-way mark in the 90-member Haryana assembly after one more legislator from former chief minister Bhajan Lal's Haryana Janhit Congress (HJC) joined it Tuesday.
Dharam Singh Chokker, a legislator from Samalakha seat in Panipat district, is the fifth member of HJC to join the Congress. Four of the six newly-elected legislators of HJC had joined Congress Monday.
"I have met the assembly speaker today and he has given consent to my decision to join the Congress. It is totally legal and Congress party has also welcomed me in the party," Chokker told reporters after meeting Assembly Speaker Harmohinder Singh Chatha Tuesday.
The HJC, which had six legislators in the assembly, is led by Bhajan Lal and his son Kuldeep Bishnoi. Now Bishnoi is the party's only member in the assembly.
"We had earlier decided to join the government but Bishnoi was delaying this move. Therefore we had decided to join Congress on our own," Chokker added.
Chatha said: "Chokker had sent us a message Monday expressing his desire to join Congress. However, he could not reach Chandigarh yesterday on time."
"We have accepted his plea today (Tuesday) and now he is a member of Congress," he added.
In the Oct 13 assembly polls, Congress had emerged as the single largest party in the assembly with 40 seats, but was six short of simple majority. However, now it has reached the half-way mark - 45 - putting it in a more comfortable position.
"We have accepted all the five HJC legislators in Congress. We hope that this decision will impart more strength to the state government. We are looking forward to work together for the welfare of every section of society," state Congress president Phool Chand Mullana said.
The Congress government already has the support of seven Independent legislators and the lone Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) legislator in the house. (IANS)
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