- ML Khattar is set to become the Chief Minister for a second straight term
- The BJP has offered post of deputy chief minister to JJP
- Apart from JJP, 7 Independents have lent support to the BJP
Manohar Lal Khattar will be sworn in as Haryana Chief Minister for his second term on Sunday after the BJP staked claim to form the government in the state following elections this week. Dushyant Chautala, whose Jannayak Janata Party (JJP) has propped up the BJP after it fell short of a majority, will become Deputy Chief Minister.
Haryana Governor Satyadeo Narain Arya invited the coalition to form the next government in the state following a visit by Mr Khattar and Mr Chautala, who presented the support of 40 MLAs of the BJP, 10 of the JJP and seven Independents. The majority mark in the 90-member Haryana assembly is 46.
The swearing-in ceremony will take place at 2:15 pm on Sunday at the governor's residence Raj Bhavan, the day Diwali will be celebrated across the country, the BJP leader said.
In time for the swearing-in, Dushyant Chautala's father Ajay Chautala, who is in Delhi's Tihar jail following his conviction in a corruption scandal, was granted a two-week leave.
Earlier in the day, Mr Khattar was unanimously elected as the leader of the BJP's legislative party, Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, who represented the BJP's central leadership, announced. He also made it clear that the BJP will not take support from controversial MLA Gopal Kanda.
The agreement between the BJP and JJP was announced after a meeting between the two sides at BJP chief and Union Home Minister Amit Shah's residence. It came after a day of frenzied negotiations at the beginning of which the BJP appeared to lean towards Kanda and the independent MLAs.
Gopal Kanda, who is accused of abetting the suicide in 2012 of an airhostess who worked for his aviation company, had pledged his "unconditional support" to the BJP. 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.
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.