Chandigarh: The BJP Sunday created political history, all set to form the government in Haryana - for the first time on its own.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), upsetting past trends, won 47 seats in the 90-member assembly. The party got 33.2% vote share in the state.
The BJP Parliamentary Party Board met in New Delhi Sunday evening to discuss probables for the post of the party's first chief minister in the state.
The names doing rounds include Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh activist Manohar Lal Khattar, state BJP president Ram Bilas Sharma and BJP spokesperson Abhimanyu. Other names of leaders, who did not contest, include union ministers Sushma Swaraj, Rao Inderjit Singh and Krishan Pal. Congressman-turned-BJP leader Birender Singh is also in the running.
Senior party sources told that the new government could be sworn in before Diwali this week. The Hindu festival of lights falls on Oct 23.
Outgoing Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Hooda accepted defeat. Hooda submitted his resignation to Governor Kaptan Singh Solanki to pave the way for formation of the new government.
The BJP's win in Haryana is a big achievement given the fact that it had won only four assembly seats in the 2009 assembly polls. Its highest ever tally of Haryana assembly seats was 16.
Kailash Vijayvargiya, in charge of the BJP's party affairs in Haryana, said: "People of Haryana wanted a change. Our party cadres and leaders worked very hard. The credit for our success has to go to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah."
On the question of the BJP having too many candidates aspiring to be the next chief minister in Haryana, he said: "The party will collectively decide the next chief minister. He will be someone who will be acceptable to all sections in Haryana."
As the results poured in, Hooda, who has at been at the helm since March 2005, accepted defeat of the Congress in the elections.
"This is the Janadesh (public mandate). I accept this and wish well for the incoming government," he said.
"I hope that the new government will not let the pace of development in Haryana slow down," he added.
The Congress won only 15, down from its tally of 40 seats in the 2009 assembly polls.
The Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) had to settle for the second position with just 19 seats. It had won 31 seats in the 2009 polls.
"The result is a surprise for us (INLD). We will review where we went wrong. We wish well to the new government as the people have given their mandate to the BJP. We will extend our support to the government for Haryana's progress," INLD leader Abhay Chautala told media after his party's defeat.
The BJP started on a winning note Sunday with the first result being declared going to its kitty. Veteran BJP leader Anil Vij won from the Ambala Cantt seat by a convincing margin of 15,462 votes.
The highest victory margin of over 84,000 votes was achieved by BJP candidate Umesh Aggarwal in the Gurgaon assembly seat.
"It is a historic win for the BJP. We will provide a stable, corruption-free and development oriented government to the people. Our victory is the result of the efforts of Prime Minister Narendra Modi," state BJP president Sharma said.
Counting of votes cast in the Oct 15 elections for the 90 assembly seats in Haryana began Sunday morning to decide the fate of 1,351 candidates, including 116 women.
A record 76.54 percent of Haryana's 1.63 crore electorate voted in the assembly polls this time.