- BJP and JJP have decided to form government in Haryana: Amit Shah
- Chief Minister will be from the BJP, deputy will be from JJP, he said
- The announcement came at the end of a meeting at Mr Shah's residence
The BJP will form the government in Haryana in partnership with Dushyant Chautala's Jannayak Janata Party (JJP), Union Home Minister and BJP chief Amit Shah announced on Friday, a day after the state election produced a fractured result.
"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," Amit Shah announced at a news briefing, flanked by Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Kahttar and Dushyant Chautala.
Incumbent Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar is likely to be elected the BJP legislative party leader at a meeting in Chandigarh today and will then stake claim before the Governor to form the government.
Mr Chautala is likely to be his deputy. The 31-year-old leader said his party believed the alliance was necessary for stability in Haryana. Earlier on Friday, Mr Chautala had said neither the BJP nor the Congress were "untouchable".
The announcement came at the end of a meeting at Mr Shah's residence between the two sides where the agreement was finally reached. Haryana's ruling BJP, which emerged as the largest party with 40 seats and needed six MLAs for a majority, had been focusing on its pursuit of eight independent MLAs, among them the highly controversial Gopal Kanda.
But amid a growing backlash over Kanda, who has a criminal record and is accused of abetting the suicide in 2012 of a woman who worked for his aviation company, the BJP finally decided to team up with Dushyant Chautala whose JJP won 10 seats.
The Congress too had reportedly reached out to the 31-year-old as the votes were being counted and the party seemed to be doing much better than its expectations. But as the Congress ended up with 31 of Haryana's 90 seats, it was clear that just the JJP's support will not be enough for the Congress to form government.
The BJP was attacked by not just the Congress but also its own party leader Uma Bharti over reports involving Gopal Kanda who had pledged his unconditional support to the BJP saying all independent MLAs would back it.
Haryana voted on Monday for its 90-member assembly. Defying exit poll predictions of a one-sided sweep by the ruling BJP, counting day in Haryana remained a close contest for hours on Thursday before ending in a hung verdict plonked in the hands of independent MLAs and JJP which came in third place.
The BJP's final tally was seen as a blow for a party that won all 10 parliamentary seats in the national elections earlier this year, and predicted that it will cross 75 seats this time in the assembly. Eight of 10 ministers from the party lost.
From the 58 per cent in the Lok Sabha polls, the BJP's vote share dropped to about 36.5 per cent. However, the vote share was about 3 per cent more than what the party got in the 2014 assembly elections.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah saw the outcome as a mandate for the BJP. "Haryana's victory is unprecedented. These days it's rare for the government to get re-elected after completing five years. Even its return as the largest party is an achievement," PM Modi said at the BJP office in Delhi on Thursday evening.