Haryana BJP legislative party meeting 26 October

Manohar Lal Khattar

New Delhi: The BJP today appeared to have clinched the support of a majority of MLAs in the Haryana Assembly as Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar held deliberations with party leaders ahead of staking claim to form the next government.

The BJP legislative party will meet on Saturday to elect its leader, a formality as the party has already decided that Khattar will head the next government. Khattar said he has got letters of support from Independent MLAs expressing confidence that he will prove his majority in the floor of the House.

Union Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and BJP general secretary Arun Singh will attend the meeting as central observers, party general secretary Anil Jain said.

The party has a support of majority of MLAs, he said. The INLD, which has one MLA, may also back it.

Though Khattar is likely to meet governor on Saturday to stake claim, the oath-taking ceremony is expected to be held after Deepavali.

Eight Independent MLAs have extended their support to the BJP, with six of them meeting its working president J P Nadda. The party has 40 MLAs in the 90-member Haryana Assembly.

A controversy has, however, erupted over MLA Gopal Kanda extending his support to the BJP. Kanda, an accused in two abetment and two suicide cases, is on a criminal trial and is currently out on bail.

Senior BJP leader Uma Bharti also appealed to her party to not forget its moral goals, a suggestion that it should not be seeking his support for forming the government.

Jain said the central leadership is aware of all realities and will take a call on it later.