Khattar in Chandigarh for BJP legislative party meet

Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar. (PTI photo)

Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar arrived here from New Delhi to attend the BJP legislative party meeting, which will be held shortly to elect its leader.

After reaching here in a helicopter, he drove straight to his official residence, which is close to the meeting venue.

Around 11 am, the meeting will begin to elect its new leader, a formality as the party has already decided that Khattar will head the next government. After the meeting, Khattar will meet Haryana Governor Satyadeo Narain Arya and stake claim to form the next government in the state.

Jannayak Janta Party (JJP) leader Dushyant Chautala is also expected to reach Chandigarh in the afternoon and meet the governor to submit his party's letter of support to the BJP. The BJP is all set to form a new government in Haryana after clinching an alliance with the JJP, which won 10 seats in the 90-member assembly.

The ruling BJP has offered the post of deputy chief minister to the JJP. BJP president Amit Shah had announced at a press conference on Friday in New Delhi that the chief minister would be from his party and the deputy chief minister from the regional outfit.

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. The BJP's decision to win over Chautala underlines its quest to placate the Jats, a dominant community in the state which is believed to have voted against the saffron party in the just concluded assembly polls.

Top BJP leaders moved swiftly since Thursday night to cobble together a majority in Haryana after the party's tally fell to 40 in the state, six short of the majority mark.

Most of the seven independent MLAs have also pledged their support to the party. Most of the independent MLAs are BJP rebels and several of them have given their letters of support to Khattar during a meeting at the residence of the party's working president, JP Nadda, in the national capital. Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad and BJP general secretary Arun Singh will attend Saturday's legislative party meeting as central observers. 

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