Chandigarh, Oct 18 :
An upbeat Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has over half a dozen names as probables for being the next chief minister of Haryana if the party gets a clear majority in the results of the assembly elections Sunday, party sources said Saturday.
The fate of 1,351 contesting candidates will be decided Sunday as the counting of votes for the 90-member Haryana assembly takes place.
“All arrangements have been made for counting of votes tomorrow (Sunday). Counting of votes would be carried out at 90 counting centres in 57 places in the state,” state chief electoral officer Shrikant Walgad said here Saturday.
Haryana’s 1.63 crore electorate Wednesday set a new voting record with over 76.54 percent polling in the state’s assembly elections, perking up the BJP’s hopes to come to power on its own.
With most exit poll giving it a clear mandate, the BJP could come to power in Haryana for the first time. The BJP contested the Haryana assembly on its own for the first time, riding primarily on the political charisma of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
With no leader being projected as chief minister by the BJP, the names doing rounds are of External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, who belongs to Haryana, union ministers Inderjit Singh and Krishan Pal, state BJP president Ram Bilas Sharma, senior leader Abhimanyu, Jat leader Birender Singh (who shifted from the Congress to the BJP recently) and Manohar Lal Khattar.
The Today’s Chanakya exit poll gave the BJP an absolute majority with 52 seats while the ABP-Nielsen survey put at the BJP count at 54 seats. The C-Voter survey gave BJP 37 seats, making it the single largest party.
“We will get a clear mandate in the election results. The BJP will form the next government on its own. We will not need the support from anyone. The party high command will decide who will become the next chief minister,” said Sharma.
The opposition Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) too exuded confidence about the impending results but surveys put the party at second spot, far away from the majority figure. The Congress, as per the exit polls, was staring at a rout after two terms in power.
Walgad said that the counting would begin at 8 a.m. and initial trends would be available from 9 a.m. onwards. He said that all results were expected to be declared by afternoon.
He said that about 5,000 officials would be put on duty for counting of votes all over the state. 30 companies of para-military forces, which had been guarding the strong rooms where EVMs were stored, would be deployed for the security arrangements.