More than 15 days after Manohar Lal Khattar took oath as the Chief Minister of Haryana, the first cabinet expansion of the BJP-JJP coalition government will take place on Thursday. News Nation has learnt that as many as 14 ministers will be inducted in the Khattar-led Cabinet. Sources say that those who will get a place in the Cabinet include 9 lawmakers from the BJP, three from the JJP. Two Independents will also be inducted as ministers. Sources say that the BJP names doing the rounds are Anil Vij, Kanwar Pal Gujjar, Deepak Mangala, Kamal Gupta, Abhay Yadav, Vishambhar Valmiki, Seema Trikha, Banwari Lal and Mahipal Dhanda. Three JJP lawmakers who are likely to get place in the Khattar Cabinet include Ram Kumar Gautam, Ishwar Singh apart from party chief Dushyant Chautala. Ranjeet Singh and Randhir Golan - Independents lawmakers – will also take oath.
Khattar, 65, took oath as the chief minister for the second time on October 27 and Dushyant Chautala, 31, great grandson of former deputy prime minister, late Devi Lal, was sworn-in as his deputy as the BJP formed the government with the help of the Jannayak Janta Party (JJP) in Haryana. Seven Independents are also supporting the government. Khattar had a lengthy meeting with Union Home Minister and BJP president Amit Shah at the latter's residence in Delhi on Sunday, the BJP sources said. A few other senior BJP leaders were also present at the meeting, they said.
The state had thrown a fractured mandate with the ruling BJP emerging as the single largest party with 40 seats. The Congress bagged 31 seats and the Dushyant Chautala’s Jannayak Janta Party (JJP) secured 10 seats. The BJP, led by Manohar Lal Khattar, formed an alliance with Chautala to form the government.
Haryana Congress had dubbed the Jannayak Janta Party's support to the BJP in forming the new government a "betrayal" with the voters. Haryana Congress chief Kumari Selja said the 10 seats that the voters of the state gave to the JJP were a mandate against the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party. "But the JJP betrayed the voters of the state. All those who voted for the JJP are feeling cheated today after it extended the support to the BJP," she said. In a statement, the Congress leader said people of the state gave a befitting reply to the BJP, which was targeted to win more than 75 of the 90 seats.