BJP legislative party meeting starts; no swearing-in ceremony on Saturday

(Eds: Updating with latest inputs) Chandigarh, Oct 26 (PTI) The BJP legislative party meeting to elect its leader began after Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar reached here from NewDelhi on Saturday morning.Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) general secretary Arun Singh also reached the UT guesthouse here to attend the meeting as central observers.BJP general secretary (organisation) Suresh Bhatt told PTI that the swearing-in ceremony of the party-led government in Haryana would not take place on Saturday."The date will be announced later," he said.However, sources in the saffron party said the swearing-in ceremony will take place on Sunday afternoon.Khattar reached Chandigarh in a helicopter and drove straight to his official residence nearby. The venue of the BJP legislative party meeting is located close to his residence.After being elected as the legislative party leader, Khattar will go to meet Haryana Governor Satyadeo Narain Arya and stake claim to form the government.Dushyant Chautala, the leader of BJP ally Jannayak Janata Party (JJP), is also expected to arrive here in the afternoon and meet the governor to submit his letter of support to the saffron party.The BJP is all set to form the government in Haryana after clinching an alliance with the JJP, which won 10 seats in the 90-member Assembly, by giving it the post of deputy chief minister.On Friday, BJP president Amit Shah told a press conference in New Delhi that the chief minister will be from his party and the deputy chief minister from the regional party. Chautala was also present at the press conference.Chautala, great grandson of former deputy prime Minister late Chaudhary Devi Lal, said his party believed that the alliance was necessary for political stability in Haryana.The BJP's decision to win over Chautala underlines its quest to placate the Jats, a dominant community in Haryana, the members of which are believed to have voted mostly against the saffron party in the just-concluded Assembly polls, to ensure a smooth run of its government in the state.Top BJP leaders moved swiftly since Thursday night to cobble together a majority in Haryana after the party's tally fell to 40 in the state, six short of the majority mark. Most of the seven Independent MLAs have also pledged their support to the party.A number of Independent legislators are BJP rebels and most of them have given their letters of support to Khattar during a meeting at the residence of the party's working president, JP Nadda, in the national capital. PTI SUN CHS VSD RC