NEW DELHI: Swiftly cobbling together a majority in Haryana a day after it fell short by six seats, the BJP forged a post-poll alliance with the Dushyant Chautala-led Jannayak Janta Party (JJP) late on Friday evening after hectic closed-door parleys. As part of the deal, Chautala will become the deputy chief minister. And his MLAs could get two berths in the ministry.
BJP strategists worked on Chautala — after getting support of the Independents — before incumbent Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar stakes his claim to form the new government on Saturday. Chautala first went to Union minister of state for finance Anurag Thakur’s residence in the evening. After a brief chat, Thakur accompanied Chautala to the residence of BJP chief Amit Shah, where the party’s working president J P Nadda, Khattar and organisational secretary B L Santosh were already present.
Later, Shah officially announced the JJP alliance, saying it was built to fulfil people’s mandate.
For his part, Chautala said his party had long ties with the BJP since the days of the Jan Sangh, adding the tie-up will provide political stability in the state. Khattar echoed Chautala, adding most of the Independents have also extended support.
With the 10 MLAs of the JJP, the BJP would have a comfortable strength of 57, including seven Independents, excluding the controversial MLA Gopal Kanda. Union minister Nirmala Sitharaman and the party’s national general secretary Arun Singh have been named observers for the legislature party meeting in Chandigarh on Saturday. Khattar is likely to be chosen as the legislative party leader. Since seven ministers in the outgoing government lost the polls, the BJP will have fresh faces in the new team. It will also offer a few berths to the Independents.