New Delhi: Leaders of Haryana BJP on Sunday held a meeting at the party headquarters in the national capital. The meeting was attended, among others, by Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar, who is seeking re-election, state sports minister Anil Vij and Haryana unit chief Subhash Barala.
The meeting comes just a day after the Election Commission (EC) announced the poll schedule for the Haryana and Maharashtra Assembly Elections, both of which, as announced by the EC, will be held in a single phase on October 21. The counting of votes will be done and results announced on October 24.
Khattar, the BJP’s first Chief Minister in the state, assumed office after the party won a simple majority in the 2014 Assembly elections, winning 47 seats in the 90-seat Assembly. In doing so, he succeeded Congress’ Bhupender Singh Hooda as the Chief Minister.
Ahead of the elections, he went on a statewide tour, covering all 90 constituencies. The tour, called the Jan Aashirvad Yatra, ended on September 7, with a rally in Rohtak, a stronghold of the former Chief Minister Hooda. Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the rally, urging the people to help the saffron party retain power in the state.
Khattar, who recently stoked a controversy when he allegedly made disparaging remarks for Kashmiri women in the aftermath of the abrogation of Article 370, has been accused by the opposition of being an inept Chief Minister as under his term, Haryana has witnessed several riots and incidents of law and order. Most notable is the February 2016 Jat agitation and, in August 2017, massive violence in Panchkula in the aftermath of the conviction of godman Gurmeet Singh in a rape case.
In spite of this, however, he is expected to lead the BJP to a comfortable win in the elections, much like his counterpart Devendra Fadnavis in Maharashtra, which is another BJP-ruled state.