Khattar sworn in as CM, Dushyant his deputy
Ceremony ended in just 10 minutes, leaving BJP, JJP supporters disappointed; remaining members of council of ministers to be announced soon
A low on confidence Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) chose a public holiday on account of Diwali to stitch a coalition government on Sunday.
Manohar Lal Khattar, 65, was on Sunday sworn in for a second successive term as the Haryana chief minister. Governor Satyadeo Narain Arya administered the oath of office and secrecy to him at Raj Bhawan. BJP’s new ally Jannayak Janta Party (JJP) gave wings to the ambitions of Dushyant Chautala, 31, the face of the fledgling outfit and leader of the party’s legislature group, who was sworn in as the deputy chief minister.
The BJP, which won 40 seats in the assembly elections falling short of a simple majority, had entered into a post poll alliance with Dushyant’s JJP to form the government. The BJP also claims to have the support of seven independents.
Khattar’s second swearing in was modest compared to 2014 when Prime Minister Narendra Modi attended the event. He was the first BJP CM in Haryana then.
Contrary to a decision taken on Saturday night by the BJP-JJP alliance to induct a few MLAs as cabinet minister on Sunday, the oath ceremony ended in less than 10 minutes, leaving BJP and JJP supporters disappointed. A meeting of the council of ministers scheduled for Sunday evening was also cancelled. The remaining members of the council of ministers will be sworn in shortly, government officials said.
Both Khattar and Dushyant have a few things in common. Khattar became the CM in 2014 after winning his debut election from Karnal. Dushyant, who at 26 became the youngest Lok Sabha member in 2014, made his debut in the state assembly this time and got designated as the deputy chief minister.
Dushyant’s father and former MP Ajay Chautala, who is out from jail on furlough, also attended the ceremony along with his wife and Badhra MLA Naina Chautala and son Digvijay Chautala.
Dushyant’s estranged paternal uncle, INLD leader and Ellenabad MLA Abhay Singh Chautala, however, chose to skip the ceremony. A galaxy of BJP, JJP and Shiromani Akali Dal ( SAD) leaders, including former Punjab chief minister, Parkash Singh Badal, his son Sukhbir Singh Badal, national working president of the BJP Jagat Prakash Nadda, Himachal Pradesh chief minister, Jai Ram Thakur, his Uttarakhand counterpart Trivendra Singh Rawat, Union ministers Narendra Tomar, Krishan Pal Gujjar, Rattan Lal Kataria, party in-charge of Haryana affairs Anil Jain, BJP general secretary BL Santhosh, former Union minister Birender Singh and Punjab governor VP Singh Badnore were present at Haryana Raj Bhawan lawns for the swearing-in ceremony.
DUSHYANT’S SLIP OF THE TONGUE
Dushyant made two faux pas while taking the oath of office and secrecy. Reading out from the oath format in Devnagari, the JJP leader made the first gaffe when he took the oath of office. Instead of saying that he will faithfully and conscientiously discharge duties as a minister for the state of Haryana, Dushyant erroneously used the word “deputy chief minister of Indian state”.
Another slip of tongue came when he was being administered the oath of secrecy. Instead of saying that he will not communicate any matter brought under his consideration as a minister for the state of Haryana except as may be required (apekshit in Hindi) for due discharge of his duties, Dushyant used the word “upekshit” (ignored) instead.