As the battle for the next Haryana Chief Minister (CM) draws to a close Thursday, the list of suitors for the post is also narrowing. As per the half day trends coming in, the possible contenders for the top job are incumbent CM Manohar Lal Khatta, former Haryana CM and Senior Congress leader Bhupinder Singh Hooda and Jannayak Janata Party (JJP) chief Dushyant Chautala.
1. Manohar Lal Khattar - BJP (Constituency - Karnal)
The CM face of BJP in Haryana, Khattar is fighting against Congress' Tarlochan Singh in the constituency. According to the latest update, he is leading in Karnal by 41,950 votes. On the election day on October 21, Khattar decided to ride a bicycle to reach the polling station in Karnal. He is touted to win by a huge margin and is BJP's credible bet in Haryana.
2. Bhupinder Singh Hooda - Congress (Constituency - Garhi Sampla-Kiloi)
Former Haryana CM and senior Congress leader Bhupinder Singh Hooda is another strong candidate in the running for the top post in the state. A prominent Jat leader, he is Congress party's face in the state. Hooda has been a two-time CM and is fighting from his bastion Garhi Sampla Kiloi this time in Jat-dominated Rohtak district. According to reports, he has won the election against Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) Satish Nandal by a huge margin.
3. Dushyant Chautala- JJP (Constituency- Uchana Kalan)
Dushyant Chautala is the founder of JJP and is seen by many as the scion to his great grandfather, Haryana satrap and Deputy Prime Minister of India, Devi Lal's legacy. He is touted to be the kingmaker in Haryana as his party is leading on around 10-12 seats in its debut elections.
A rising star in Haryana politics, Chautala defeated Kuldeep Bishnoi, son of former Haryana CM Bhajan Lal, in this year's Lok Sabha elections. He also holds the record of being the youngest MP in the country, when he was elected from Hisar in 2014 at the age of 26 years.