Nayab Saini meets Haryana governor, to stake claim for forming govt

Nayab Saini meets Haryana governor, set to become new chief minister
Nayab Saini meets Haryana governor, set to become new chief minister
Nayab Saini meets Haryana governor, set to become new chief minister

Chandigarh | Haryana BJP president Nayab Singh Saini, who was unanimously elected as leader of the party's state legislature group, met Governor Bandaru Dattatreya to stake claim for forming the new government in the state.

Saini was accompanied by Union Minister Arjun Munda, BJP national general secretary Tarun Chugh, former chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar and Haryana BJP in-charge Biplab Deb in the Raj Bhavan here.

He will be sworn in as the state's new chief minister in an oath-taking ceremony to be held later in the evening.

Saini, 54, is considered a confidante of Khattar and will be replacing the BJP strongman whose second term as chief minister was going to end in October.

The surprise move by the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party came weeks before the Lok Sabha elections are to be held. The Haryana assembly polls are due in October.

BJP's Thanesar MLA Subhash Sudha and J P Dalal, who held the agriculture portfolio, told mediapersons that Saini was unanimously elected as the leader of the state BJP's legislature party.

Khattar and his cabinet ministers on Tuesday submitted their resignations to Dattatreya. The development came amid speculation of cracks emerging in the state's ruling BJP and Jannayak Janata Party (JJP) coalition over seat-sharing ahead of the Lok Sabha elections.

The cabinet comprised 14 ministers, including Khattar and three members of Deputy Chief Minister Dushyant Chautala-led JJP. All have resigned, said officials.

At present, the BJP has 41 MLAs in the 90-member House while the JJP has 10. The ruling combine also enjoys the support of six of seven independents.

With 46 MLAs needed for majority, the BJP is comfortably placed even if it will not have JJP support.

The main opposition Congress has 30 MLAs and the Indian National Lok Dal and Haryana Lokhit Party have one seat each.

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