BJP president Amit Shah has summoned Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar to Delhi amid initial trends showing the neck-and-neck fight between the ruling party and the Congress. The trends are contrary to the exit polls that predicted a comfortable majority for the ruling Khattar government.
Some reports suggest that efforts are already afoot to reach out to Chautala junior whose party Jannayak Janata Party is leading on at least 10 seats. Dushyant Chautala recently claimed that only his party will have the key to power in the state. Incidentally, the 'key' is also the electoral symbol of his party. The BJP, however, is officially denying any such effort.
If current trends hold, BJP (38) is little ahead of Congress (32) in Haryana but none are in a position to form the Government on their own. JJP is leading in 10, while Independent (6), as counting progresses for the 90-member Assembly.
Asked about which party the JJP give support, he said: "It's too early to say anything. We will first summon a meeting of our MLAs, decide who would be our leader in the House and then take it further."
Dushyant Chautala took a swipe at the Bharatiya Janata Party's "Mission 75", saying the saffron party would fall way short of their target. "People of Haryana want change," he told reporters.
Meanwhile, Khattar has attained a comfortable lead over his nearest Congress rival from the Karnal constituency.
In what appears to be a setback to the BJP, seven of its ministers, assembly Speaker and state party chief are trailing.
The ministers include Ram Bilas Sharma, Capt Abhimanyu, O P Dhankar, Kavita Jain, Krishan Lal Panwar, Manish Grover, Krishan Kumar Bedi.
Speaker Kanwar Pal, a BJP legislator from Jagadhri, and state BJP president Subhash Barala, who is seeking re-election from Tohana, are also trailing, according to the trends.
Among the sportspersons fielded by the BJP, former Indian hockey captain Sandeep Singh and wrestler Babita Phogat are leading, while wrestler Yogeshwar Dutt is trailing. Senior minister and five-time legislator Anil Vij is leading from Ambala Cantt.
Among the Congress candidates, former chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda and party leaders Kuldeep Bishnoi and Kiran Choudhry are leading in their respective constituencies.
Commenting on the initial trends, Hooda exuded confidence that Congress would form the government in the state.