As the Bharatiya Janata Party fell short of a majority by five seats in Haryana, Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar is likely to meet Governor Satyadev Narayan Arya on Friday, to stake claim to form a government in the state, for a second consecutive term. Ahead of his meeting with the Governor, Chief Minister Khattar is also expected to gather support of Independent legislators -- two of them are Lokhit Party (HLP) chief Gopal Kanda, who won from Sirsa, and the Congress rebel Ranjit Singh, youngest son of Jat leader late Chaudhary Devi Lal, who won from the Rania seat as an Independent candidate.
The latter has extended unconditional support, while the former is seeking a Cabinet berth. Both are camping in Delhi.
Manohar Lal Khattar departed for New Delhi Friday morning, where he is slated to meet BJP President Amit Shah, along with other Independent Legislators.
Meanwhile, the Congress party is banking upon the support of six of the seven independents to form the next government.
It is learnt that the BJP parliamentary board has decided to retain Khattar as the party leader.
The other Independents are Nayan Pal Rawat (Prithla), Randhir Singh Gollen (Pundri), Somvir Sangwan (Dadri), Balraj Kundu (Meham) and Rakesh Daultabad (Badshapur).
The less than year old Jannayak Janata Party (JJP), which broke away from the state's once major regional Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) owing to family disputes, also appears set to play the role of a kingmaker in the state.
Its chief Dushyant Chautala said he has called a meeting of the party executive at 11 a.m. on Friday in Delhi to discuss the party's strategy.
The JJP won 10 seats, while the rival Congress won 31 seats.
Eight Ministers, except two, lost the polls along with party chief Subhash Barala. BJP's outgoing Ministers -- Captain Abhimanyu, O.P. Dhankar, Ram Bilas Sharma, Kavita Jain, Krishan Lal Panwar, Manish Grover, Karan Dev Kamboj and Krishan Kumar Bedi -- all ended up with defeats.
Public Health and Engineering Minister Banwari Lal won the Bawal seat and Health Minister Anil Vij retained his seat from the Ambala Cantonment.
Two sitting Ministers, Rao Narbir Singh and Vipul Goel, were denied tickets and fresh faces were brought in. However, both lost the elections.