Khattar announced Haryana CM

  • First non-Jat CM in 18 years

manoharlal copyChandigrah, October 21: BJP announced Manohar Lal Khattar as the next chief minister of Haryana on Tuesday, at a meeting of the BJP legislature party convened for electing the leader of the House. Khattar who started his career as a pracharak of Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS) is the first non-Jat to occupy CM’s chair in 18 years. His name was proposed for the post of chief minister by Haryana BJP president Ram Bilas Sharma and Khattar was declared unanimously elected. “I have been chosen by the party legislators and the BJP leadership for this responsibility. I can assure you that we will work for the welfare of the people of Haryana”, Khattar said after being elected the leader of the BJP legislative group.

Union Minister for Urban Development and former BJP national president M Venkaiah Naidu and Vice President of the BJP Dinesh Sharma attended the meeting of the legislators as central observers sent by the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) parliamentary board.

“My government will be transparent and there will be no discrimination in any area,” Khattar promised on the occasion. Khattar, 60, will be the first BJP chief minister of the state, which was formed Nov 1, 1966. Manohar Lal Khattar was born in 1954 in Nidana village of Maham Tehsil in Rohtak district of Haryana. His father was a Punjabi shopkeeper who had migrated to India during the partition in 1947. Khattar studied in Delhi University. He joined BJP is 1994. Staying true to RSS ideology he remained a bachelor.

Despite being a first-time legislator with no administrative experience, the BJP chose Khattar, who belongs to the Punjabi community, in the Jat-dominated politics of Haryana. It may be noted here that he has been famous for his infamous comment that girls must not “lure” boys and must wear decent clothes to not attract the opposite sex. Though a non-Jat, Kathar has a Jat mindset as far as women and Khap panchayats are concerned. On girls he is reported to have said, “Girls needed to wear decent clothes to avoid sexual assault. If you want freedom, why don’t you roam around naked? Freedom has to be limited. The short clothes are western influences. Our county’s traditions ask girls to dress decently”. This comment created a controversy. Another sensational take was on Khap panchayats in which he commented, “Khaps maintain the tradition of a girl and a boy being brother and sister. They are just making sure that a girl and boy do not see each other in the wrong way. These rulings help prevent rapes.”

Manohar Lal Khattar, like his mentor Narendra Bhai Modi, would be taking charge of the state administration without any administrative experience. Modi also was sent to Gujarat to run the state government when he was General Secretary of the BJP. Khattar is considered to be very close to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the party president Amit Shah. He started working with Modi in 1996 when the latter was in charge of Haryana as BJP General Secretary. Later, Khattar was given the charge of Jammu & Kashmir in 2002 elections. After the earthquake that caused devastation in Bhuj, Modi sent Khattar as in charge of Kutch district in the first elections after he took over the reins of Gujarat. Khattar got 3 out of 6 seats in the district for the BJP. Khattar also worked in Bastar in Chhattisgarh during the first elections after the formation of the new state. Bastar was a Congress fort in which he managed to win 10 out of 12 seats. These remarkable achievements brought him recognition in the party as a strong administrator.

The swearing-in of the new chief minister and other ministers is likely to take place Oct 26. The ceremony could take place at a sports stadium in Panchkula town, 15 km from here, instead of the Haryana Raj Bhavan. It will be a historic moment for the BJP in the state. This is the first time that the BJP will form its own government in the state. The party had won only four assembly seats in the 2009 polls. The tally in October 15 assembly election was 47 seats.

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