On eve of Lok Sabha elections, BJP replaces ML Khattar with Nayab Singh Saini as Haryana CM : The Tribune India

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On eve of Lok Sabha elections, BJP replaces ML Khattar with Nayab Singh Saini as Haryana CM

State BJP chief and party’s OBC face takes oath along with 5 ministers

On eve of Lok Sabha elections, BJP replaces ML Khattar with Nayab Singh Saini as Haryana CM

Haryana Governor Bandaru Dattatreya, Chief Minister Nayab Singh Saini and former CM Manohar Lal Khattar at the oath-taking ceremony in Raj Bhawan, Chandigarh, on Tuesday. TRIBUNE PHOTO: RAVI KUMAR

Tribune News Service

Geetanjali Gayatri

Chandigarh, March 12

Amid chants of “Jai Shri Ram”, the Haryana BJP president and party’s OBC face, Nayab Singh Saini (54), was sworn in as the state Chief Minister while five ministers were also administered the oath by Haryana Governor Bandaru Dattatreya at a function organised at the Haryana Raj Bhawan here today.

Saini, MP from Kurukshetra, replaces Manohar Lal Khattar, who resigned with his Council of Ministers following a BJP legislature party meeting held in the presence of central observers Arjun Munda and Tarun Chugh.

The meeting was held a couple of hours before Saini’s name was proposed at the second meeting of the BJP legislature party on a day of fast-paced developments within the BJP and its alliance partner, the Jannayak Janta Party (JJP).

Ahead of the Lok Sabha elections and seven months before the state goes to the polls, the fate of the post-poll alliance between the BJP and the JJP after the 2019 Assembly elections remains ambiguous with leaders choosing to stay mum on the matter though there is a growing sentiment within the BJP and its cadres that the party should go it alone in the elections.

The dramatic turn of events began with five MLAs of the JJP deciding to skip their party’s meeting, which was to be chaired by Deputy Chief Minister and JJP leader Dushyant Chautala in Delhi to discuss the Lok Sabha elections. The meeting was called after Dushyant met BJP’s central leaders yesterday on seat sharing in the Lok Sabha elections. The five MLAs, openly critical of Dushyant’s functioning, instead of going to Delhi, reached Chandigarh to “extend support” to the BJP.

Meanwhile, the BJP had called a meeting of its legislature party in which it was decided that the CM and his ministers would resign. Sources said the resignations were aimed at “getting rid” of the JJP MLAs in the Council of Ministers without being accused of snapping ties with the alliance partner and bringing in a new face to head the state government with a view to minimising anti-incumbency against the Khattar government during the over nine-year rule of the party in the state.

The resignations were handed over to the Governor by Khattar, who was accompanied by Health Minister Anil Vij, and accepted shortly. On their return from the Governor House, back at Haryana Niwas where the MLAs were waiting, Saini’s name was proposed by the legislature party even as Vij, miffed with the developments, left the meeting in a huff. He drove away in his personal car, leaving his official car behind, indicating that he was not keen on being sworn in as minister in the Saini Cabinet.

While he stayed away from the swearing-in ceremony, five ministers were re-inducted while the other slots were kept vacant.

Those who took oath as ministers were Kanwar Pal Gujjar, Mool Chand Sharma, Independent MLA Ranjit Singh Chautala, JP Dalal and Dr Banwari Lal. No new faces were inducted at the ceremony today. The sources said the other slots would be filled subsequently.

CM gives list of 48 MLAs to Guv; floor test today

  • CM Saini said the party had given a list of 48 supporting MLAs to the Governor while staking claim to form govt
  • He said the govt would bring a confidence motion to prove its majority in a special House session on Wednesday
  • KP Gujjar, MC Sharma, Ind MLA Ranjit Singh Chautala, JP Dalal and Dr Banwari Lal took oath as ministers

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#Bandaru Dattatreya #BJP #Lok Sabha #Nayab Singh Saini

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