CHANDIGARH: After BJP's decision to go solo in Haryana paid off with the party storming to power for the first time on its own, the race for chief minister's post has now intensified with names of many aspirants doing rounds.
BJP won 47 seats in the 90-member Assembly, which was by far the saffron party's best ever-performance in the state's 48-year-old history.
The elections proved that "Modi wave" had not waned in Haryana despite Congress and INLD's claims to the contrary.
Prominent among the BJP candidates who won include state president Ram Bilas Sharma, national spokesperson Captain Abhimanyu Singh, party's Kisan Morcha president Om Prakash Dhankhar, former RSS leader M L Khattar and BJP legislature party leader Anil Vij.
These names are doing rounds in BJP circles for the top job, party sources said. The possibility of External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj being brought back to the state in case of too many aspirants staking claim has not been ruled out.
Swaraj had contested the polls under the banner of Janata Party which was formed after the Emergency imposed by then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi in 1975. She was elected from Ambala Cantt Assembly constituency in the 1977 polls when the Janata Party had won 75 of the 90 seats.
BJP just before the elections had dumped its ally Kuldeep Bishnoi-led HJC-BL with which it had contested the recent Lok Sabha election.
It is for the first time that BJP has gained majority in Haryana on its own as in the past occasions it had played second fiddle to parties like INLD, with whom it was in alliance earlier.