Chandigarh: Manohar Lal Khattar took oath as the Haryana chief minister for a second term on Sunday and will lead the BJP-JJP (Jannayak Janata Party) coalition government in the state. JJP leader Dushyant Chautala took oath as his deputy, a day after the governor invited him to lead the alliance that also has the support of seven Independents.
Haryana Governor Satyadeo Narain Arya administered the oath at a ceremony, lasting less than 10 minutes, held at the Raj Bhawan here on Diwali. Barring Khattar and Dushyant, no Cabinet member took oath. The full Cabinet will take oath after Diwali.
BJP working president JP Nadda, Punjab Governor VP Singh Badnore, former Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal, Union ministers Krishan Pal Gurjar, RL Kataria, Uttarakhand Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat, Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Jairam Thakur and former Haryana chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda.
Five-time Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, whose party Shriomani Akali Dal (SAD) had an alliance with BJP's rival Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) during the Assembly elections despite being an NDA partner, attended the ceremony along with son and Member of Parliament Sukhbir Badal.
Congress leader and two-time Chief Minister Bhupinder Hooda, who attended the ceremony, described the BJP-JJP alliance opportunist, unholy and against the mandate.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi extended his congratulations to Khattar and Chautala.
Dushyant Chautala's father Ajay Chautala, who stepped out of the Tihar jail on Saturday on a furlough, also attended the event. Dushyant Chautala's mother Naina Chautala, who has been re-elected MLA for the second time, was also present. Ajay Chautala is lodged in the Tihar jail in Delhi after his conviction in a teachers' recruitment scam.
A low-profile organisational man with an active RSS background, Khattar was chosen by the newly elected BJP legislators as their leader at a meeting here on Saturday. "My government will be transparent," Khattar told the media ahead of taking the oath.
Khattar was unanimously elected leader of the BJP's legislative party in Haryana on Saturday after which the BJP staked claim before Governor Arya to form the government.
Khattar said a total of 57 MLAs — 40 of the BJP, 10 of the JJP and seven Independents — have come together to form the government.
(With inputs from agencies)