‘Still have the key’: Dushyant Chautala messages BJP, lists a condition
By the end of these meetings, Khattar picked up seven letters of support that helps him cross the majority mark.Updated: Oct 25, 2019, 17:23 IST
Dushyant Chautala, the Jananayak Janta Party leader who had aspired to be the kingmaker in Haryana, on Friday insisted that he still holds the key to government formation in Haryana if any party wants to provide a stable government. Chautala’s comments came at a media interaction hours after Manohar Lal Khattar held meetings with 7 Independent MLAs in Delhi.
By the end of these meetings, Khattar picked up seven letters of support that helps him cross the majority mark. The BJP had emerged as the single largest party in the Haryana assembly with 40 seats but was six short of the majority mark of 46.
BJP leaders have told HT that the party would be open to receive support from Dushyant Chautala - the JJP won 10 seats - as well but would not have him dictating terms to the BJP.
The BJP legislators will meet tomorrow morning to formally elect Khattar as its leader under the close watch of a central team including finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman. Soon after, Khattar is expected to head to Raj Bhavan to stake claim and pick up his invite to form the government.
Dushyant Chautala, who had been ambivalent about his party’s stand on supporting the BJP or the Congress, insisted at Friday’s media interaction that he was still open to support either of the two. The only condition, he declared, was that the new government would have to deliver on his party’s agenda. He made particular mention of two: a promise to reserve 75 per cent of jobs in Haryana for local youth and a substantial hike in various kinds of pensions given by the government.
“No one is untouchable for us. We will support whichever party agrees to implement our agenda as part of a common minimum programme,” he declared.
A JJP leader later told HT that this was mostly positioning and the demand for implementing the party’s agenda was a message to the BJP, and in some ways, to prep for the change in stand.
Dushyant Chautala was asked if he was a little late to make his offer since the BJP was expected to cross the majority mark with help from the Independents. “I still have the key if you want a stable government in Haryana,” Chautala shot back. He also made it clear that the JJP would be part of the government if it decided to support any formation and wasn’t going to support anyone from outside.