Haryana Chief Minister ML Khattar And Cabinet Submit Resignation

New Delhi:

Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar resigned Tuesday morning after meeting Governor Bandaru Dattareya. Mr Khattar’s resignation – followed immediately by his entire cabinet – comes amid speculation of a split in the ruling BJP-JJP alliance over seat-sharing for the Lok Sabha election.

Both the BJP and the JJP of Dushyant Chautala have said they will contest the forthcoming poll on their own. In 2019, the BJP swept the state, winning all 10 seats. Mr Chautala’s party – which had just been formed – lost all seven of its contests but finished with a creditable vote share of 4.9 per cent.

In the 2019 Assembly election the JJP won 10 seats, which were key as the BJP – with 40 seats, six shy of majority in the 90-member House – struck a post-poll deal to form the government.

Mr Khattar’s resignation also comes amid talk he could make his Lok Sabha election debut – from the Karnal seat currently held by the BJP’s Sanjay Bhatia. Mr Bhatia, sources said, might make the switch in the opposite direction – going from Parliament to the Haryana Assembly to become Chief Minister.

There is, however, also buzz Mr Khattar could return as Chief Minister, this time at the head of a government backed by independent MLAs. This government could have two Deputy Chief Ministers – from two different communities – as the BJP also looks to factor in representation of different castes or communities ahead of the Lok Sabha election; the party made similar moves after winning the Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, and Chhattisgarh Assembly elections in November last year.

This new BJP government could also be fortified, sources said, by five JJP MLAs who are likely to cross over. These five are – Jogi Ram Sihag, Ram Kumar Gautam, Ishwar Singh, Ramniwas and Devinder Babli. Sources said these five may form a breakaway group and join the BJP.

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