Lobbying on for cabinet berths; Jats, Brahmins angling for deputy CM post

  • Hitender Rao, Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
  • Updated: Oct 25, 2014 00:08 IST

Hectic lobbying is on within the BJP to grab ministerial berths when a new government headed by chief minister designate, Manohar Lal Khattar takes over on Sunday. A total of 14 persons, including the chief minister can be inducted in the Council of ministers in the state.

BJP sources said that pressure was being also put on the party high command by certain communities including the influential Jat community and the Brahmins to have a deputy chief minister. However, the party is not keen to accede to such demands, it is learnt. There is also a possibility of state BJP chief, Ram Bilas Sharma declining a cabinet berth and opting to continue in his present assignment.

The saffron party got a clear mandate in Haryana, thanks to the overwhelming response it received in northern and southern (Ahirwal) parts of the state. The BJP won 32 seats (21 from north and 11 from south) in a tally of 47. However the tricky task is to strike a balance – caste wise and region wise- in the formation of the cabinet. Most of the ministers are likely to be first timer MLAs.

While only six Jats out 25 who contested the elections could win, thereby scuttling their prospects of larger share in the power pie, there are indications that the party may induct three – Capt Abhimanyu (Narnaund), Prem Lata (Uchana kalan ) and OP Dhankhar (Badli) in the Council of Ministers.

While six Ahir candidates won the elections, there are indications that only two- Rao Narbir Singh (Badshahpur) and Santosh Yadav (Ateli) might get ministerial berths.

With seven MLAs from Aggarwal community, there is a possibility of three - Vipul Goyal (Faridabad), Kamal Gupta (Hisar) and Kavita Jain (Sonepat) getting cabinet berths.

Since chief minister designate Manohar Lal Khattar himself is a Punjabi, only one Punjabi, Anil Vij is likely to be inducted in the Cabinet.

With nine Scheduled Caste MLAs, the party is likely to accommodate at least two- Santosh Sarwan (Mullana) and Banwari Lal (Bawal) in the Council of Ministers.

If state party chief, Ram Bilas Sharma (Mahendergarh) does not opt out, he remains a front runner among the Brahmins for a cabinet berth. However, if he does, the party which has only four Brahmin MLAs will have a difficulty finding a suitable for Brahmin a cabinet berth. First time MLAs, Latika Sharma (Kalka), Naresh Kaushik (Bahadurgarh) and Ram Bilas’s samdhi, Mool Chand Sharma (Ballabhgarh) could fill in the slot. The party may also include one Gujjar- Kanwarpal (Jagadhri) in the cabinet.

BJP MLAs (caste break up)

Aggarwal: 7
Punjabi: 7
Jats: 6
Ahirs: 6
Scheduled castes: 9
Brahmins: 4
Saini: 2
Kamboj: 1
Gujjar: 2
Rajput: 1
Ror: 1
Jat Sikh: 1

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