Abhimanyu, Vij, Dhankar in race for Cabinet berth

  • Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
  • Updated: Oct 25, 2014 17:05 IST

BJP leaders Anil Vij, Captain Abhimanyu and O P Dhankar, all of whom were chief ministerial aspirants, have emerged as front-runners for a berth in the next Haryana Cabinet.

Manohar Lal Khattar will take oath as Haryana's next chief minister at Panchkula on Sunday.

Vij, Capt Abhimanyu and Dhankar, are likely to find a place in the Cabinet, party sources indicated on Saturday.

Vij, the five-time MLA, who retained his seat from Ambala Cantt and first-time MLA Khattar, who registered an emphatic win from Karnal, are the prominent Punjabi faces of the party.

Capt Abhimanyu, Dhankar and Prem Lata are the prominent Jat faces of the BJP in Haryana.

Senior leader Birender Singh's wife Prem Lata may also be accommodated in the Cabinet along with another woman legislator and two-time MLA, Kavita Jain.

However, it was the non-Jat and the urban voters who played a key role in the saffron party's victory in the recently held assembly polls and the party is likely to keep this fact in mind while awarding the cabinet berths, a senior BJP leader from the state said.

Haryana BJP chief Ram Bilas Sharma, a Brahmin, is also in the race for a Cabinet berth.

Among other MLAs whose names are being taken in the BJP circles for a possible berth in the Cabinet include Umesh Aggarwal, Subhash Sudha, B S Virk and Santosh Yadav.

Nine of the 47 MLAs in the 90-member Assembly which the BJP won belong to the Dalit community and at least two MLAs from the community--Santosh Sarwan and Banwari Lal--are likely to find a place in the Cabinet.

BJP created history by coming to power for the first time at its own in Haryana, since its inception in 1966.

In the 90 member Haryana assembly, BJP bagged 47 seats, INLD 19, its ally SAD 1; Congress 15, Haryana Janhit Congress (HJC-BL) two, BSP one and five independents romped home victorious.

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