India

ML Khattar's Oath Likely Tomorrow In Haryana After Dushyant Chautala Deal

ML Khattar's Oath Likely Tomorrow In Haryana After Dushyant Chautala Deal
Chandigarh: 

Highlights

  1. ML Khattar is set to become the Chief Minister for a second straight term
  2. The BJP has offered post of deputy chief minister to JJP
  3. Apart from JJP, 7 Independents have lent support to the BJP

Manohar Lal Khattar was today unanimously elected as the leader of BJP legislative party ahead of his meeting with Haryana Governor Satyadeo Narain Arya during which he will stake claim to form the government. According to sources, Mr Khattar is likely to take oath tomorrow.

"We will go to meet the Governor, and request him to invite us to form the government. The new Haryana government will be stable and clean," said Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad who along with BJP general secretary Arun Singh attended the legislative party meeting as central observers.

The post of deputy chief minister will be held by Dushyant Chautala's party, which has agreed to support the BJP to form the government in the state.

Mr Prasad said that the Manohar Lal Khattar government will provide a smooth government with support from the JJP and independent legislators. He also made it clear that the BJP will not take support from controversial MLA Gopal Kanda. "I want to clarify one thing that the BJP is not going to take the support of Kanda," he said.

Gopal Kanda, who is accused of abetting the suicide in 2012 of an airhostess who worked for his aviation company, Geetika Sharma, had pledged his "unconditional support" to help the BJP cross the 46-seat majority mark in the 90-member house. Photos of Kanda and another independent MLA on a special plane were in wide circulation online yesterday, prompting criticism from the opposition as well as senior BJP leader Uma Bharti.

The controversy finally settled down after BJP President Amit Shah on Friday announced that the BJP will form the government with support from Dushyant Chautala's party.

"Keeping in mind the mandate of the people, leaders of BJP and JJP have decided that the two parties will form a government in Haryana together. The Chief Minister will be from the BJP and the deputy chief minister will be from JJP," BJP President Amit Shah announced at a news briefing, flanked by Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Kahttar and Dushyant Chautala.

As per the current strength, the coalition government will have 57 seats in the 90-member assembly - apart from JJP which has 10 seats, seven Independents have also lent support to the BJP, which ended up with 40 seats this time.

"In order to provide a stable government, we have decided that BJP and JJP will ally in Haryana. Haryana has seen coalitions earlier too. The work on this coalition government will begin on Saturday," ML Khattar said.

Mr Chautala said his party believed the alliance was necessary for stability in Haryana.

"Haryana needs transformation. BJP and JJP will have to work together to ensure that Haryana moves ahead in a 'progressive' manner. Further decisions would be taken after meeting the Governor. Progress and development of state the objective," said Mr Chautala, who is likely to be deputy chief minister in the new government.

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