In a bid to placate BJP leaders denied tickets for the upcoming assembly polls, Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar on Tuesday assured them that the party will keep their interests in mind once the elections are over.
"I expect any party leader who even though did not get a BJP ticket considers the party like his mother. We would ensure their maan-samman (honour). After elections, their maan-samman will be kept in the party and the government," Mr Khattar said while talking to media before filling his nomination papers.
In the BJP's first list of 78 candidates, two ministers Vipul Goel and Rao Narbir Singh were among seven MLAs who had been denied ticket.
While Vipul Goel was sitting MLA from Faridabad, Rao Narbir Singh represented Badshahpur constituency in Gurgaon district.
Besides, Deputy Speaker Santosh Yadav, who represented Ateli constituency in Mahendergarh district, too was denied party ticket to re-contest from the seat.
Vipul Goel has been replaced by Narinder Gupta, Manish Yadav comes in for Rao Narbir Singh and Sita Ram Yadav has replaced Santosh Yadav.
However, among the ministers who have been re-nominated include Capt Abhimanyu, Ram Bilas Sharma, Anil Vij, Krishan Kumar Bedi, Karan Dev Kamboj, Kavita Jain and O P Dhankar.
Mr Khattar, who has been re-nominated from Karnal, said the BJP has announced candidates for 78 seats and the nominees for remaining 12 seats will be announced soon.
To a question on three Olympians given nominations by the BJP, Mr Khattar said these three are top class players in their respective fields.
"We have fielded them in these elections... definitely, they will win the polls with a huge margin," he said.
Making their electoral debut, wrestler Babita Phogat, former Indian hockey captain Sandeep Singh and Olympic medallist Yogeshwar Dutt -- all of whom joined the party in recent weeks -- will contest from Dadri, Pehowa and Baroda respectively.
The BJP had won 47 seats in the 2014 assembly polls and after its win in the Jind bypolls earlier this year, the party's strength rose to 48. The BJP has set a target of winning 75 plus seats this time.