Sunday, February 27, 2000,
Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Chautala to take oath at Kurukshetra
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 26 — The new government led by Mr Om Prakash Chautala in Haryana will be sworn in on March 2 at a function at Dronacharya Stadium, Kurukshetra.

This was disclosed by Mr Chautala after he was formally elected leader of the INLD Legislature Party by the newly elected MLAs here today.

Mr Chautala said he had made a request to the Governor in this regard to which the latter had agreed.

He reiterated that he would request the BJP to join his government. He would meet the Prime Minister, Mr Atal Behari Vajpayee, on February 28 to make the formal request. He, however, clarified that the INLD would continue to support the Vajpayee Government from outside.

Mr Chautala said Mr Vajpayee was the ablest leader to lead the country and there was no alternative to him. Hence, it was his firm belief that Mr Vajpayee should be given a free hand to run the country.

Among his priorities would be to make Haryana free of floods and corruption and to improve the law and order situation.

When asked if the INLD, which had secured an absolute majority on its own by winning 47 seats in the House of 90, would welcome the support of Independent MLAs, Mr Chautala said in the interest of Haryana, he would welcome support even from the former Chief Minister, Mr Bansi Lal, provided the latter left his anti-people policies.

He said he had a telephonic talk with the President of the Haryana BJP, Mr Om Prakash Grover, this morning and requested him to hold a meeting of the newly elected MLAs to elect their leader.

Incidentally, certain Independent MLAs like Mr Dev Raj Diwan (Sonepat), Mr Daryo Singh (Jhajjar) and Mr Tejvir Singh (Pundri) were seen at the official residence of Mr Chautala today.

Meanwhile, the Haryana Governor, Mr Mahabir Prasad, today invited Mr Om Prakash Chautala, leader of the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD), to form the new government in the state.

The Governor extended the invitation to Mr Chautala when the latter called on him at Raj Bhavan this evening and staked his claim to form the government, an official note said here.

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