Manohar Lal Khattar was on Saturday elected the leader of the Haryana BJP legislative Party, moving a step closer to second straight term as the state’s chief minister. Khattar will now meet the Governor to stake claim to form the government, a day after sealing a deal with Dushyant Chautala’s fledgling Jannayak Janata Party (JJP). The BJP won 40 seats, six seats short of a simple majority and seven fewer that what it won five years ago.
The JJP, with its 10 seats, helped bridge the deficit enabling Khattar to return as the Chief Minister. Dushyant Chautala, a great grandson of the late deputy prime minister Chaudhary Devi Lal, said his party believed the alliance was necessary for stability in Haryana.
Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, who was also present at the BJP legislative party meeting said: “We will go to meet the Governor Satyadeo Narain Arya, and request him to invite us to form the government.”
Soon after the election results on Thursday showed the BJP falling short of majority, Khattar reached Delhi at night. He stayed overnight in the national capital to fine-tune the party’s strategy and work out the details of the state government, which has to rely on non-BJP legislators.
The efforts culminated on Friday night, with the BJP announcing an alliance with the JJP. Chautala, however, put forward some conditions for an alliance. At a press conference at his Janpath residence in Delhi, Chautala said, “We will support whichever party agrees to implement our agenda as part of a common minimum programme. The JJP will ally with any party that promises 75% reservation of jobs for Haryanvis in Haryana and continues with pension for senior citizens…”
BJP national president and Union Home Minister Amit Shah met JJP leaders and announced the merger. “Accepting the mandate by the people of Haryana, leaders of both parties (BJP-JJP) have decided that BJP-JJP will form the government together in Haryana. The Chief Minister will be from BJP and Deputy Chief Minister will be from JJP,” he said after the meeting.
Oct 26, 2019 13:49 IST