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Chunni Lal Bhagat elected leader of BJP LP

Chunni Lal Bhagat was elected unanimously as the BJP`s legisature party chief in Punjab.

Updated: Mar 09, 2012, 17:40 PM IST

Chandigarh: Chunni Lal Bhagat was on Friday
elected unanimously as the BJP`s legisature party chief in
Punjab.

The name of Bhagat, an MLA from the reserved Jalandhar
(west) seat, was proposed by former Minister and senior party
leader Madan Mohan Mittal and seconded by former ministers
Manoranjan Kalia and Surjit Jyani.

A decision to this effect was taken by the 12 BJP
legislators who held confabulations with leader of the
opposition in the Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley.

Besides, the meeting was also attended by Punjab incharge
of BJP affairs Shanta Kumar and its General Secretary Ram
Lal, Jaitley said after the meeting.

The central leaders had held meetings with the 12 BJP
elected legislators before deciding on the name of Bhagat.

Meanwhile, party sources said the issue of staking claim
for the post of Deputy Chief Minister was not raked in the
meeting.

However, party sources said the state leadership is in
favour of appointment of Deputy Chief Minister from BJP, an
idea not getting support from the party`s central leadership.

Sources also said the meeting did not discuss the number
of ministers from the BJP to be inducted in the Parkash Singh
Badal cabinet.

However, they said the BJP was expecting to get five
cabinet berths but the SAD is in favour of giving it four
seats in the cabinet as the party`s strength in the 117-member
house has come down to 12 from 19. In the outgoing ministry
BJP had five members.

The BJP has won 12 of the 23 seats it`s contested this
time with its tally going down by seven as compared with the
19 MLAs who were elected in 2007.

The 12 include seven sitting members Manoranjan Kalia
(Jalandhar Central), Surjeet Kumar (Fazilka), KD Bhandari
(Jalandhar North), Amarjit Singh Sahi (Dasuya), Chuni Lal
Bhagat (Jalandhar West), Anil Joshi (Amritsar North) and
Dinesh Singh (Sujanpur).

The three first timers are BJP MP Navjot Sidhu`s wife
Navjot Kaur Sidhu, (Amritsar East), Seema Kumari (Bhoa SC) and
state BJP President Ashwani Sharma (Pathankot). The 12th
member is a former MLA and Cabinet Minister Madan Mohan Mittal
(Anandpur Sahab).

The names of the party nominees for the ministerial posts
doing rounds are Kalia, Mittal, Surjeet Jyani, KD Bhandari,
Navjot Kaur and state unit Chief Ashwani Sharma.

PTI