Once Pracharak now CM

Once Pracharak now CM

Harya-na’s first BJP chief minister, Manohar Lal Khattar’s journey to the coveted post is that of a man who worked silently behind the scenes, first for the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and then the BJP, with sincerity and grit for decades.

Khattar worked in a small shop in New Delhi’s Sadar market while pursuing graduation. At 24, Khattar joined the RSS. His political acumen was hard to ignore and Khattar was eventually appointed as a Pracharak at 27-years of age.

But one cannot overlook the fact that Khattar’s coronation would not have been possibly had he not been in the good books of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the RSS. Khattar and Modi have worked together in Haryana way back in 1996 when Modi was party in-charge of Haryana affairs.

Khattar’s rise has been an eventful one. In the first election of his political career, Khattar won by a huge margin of over 63,000 votes from Punjabi-dominated urban seat of Karnal. Khattar’s candidature was backed to the hilt by the party despite the fact that he has no administrative experience. Khattar, who walks tall with a clean and upright image, enjoys the support of the RSS.

Party insiders say Khattar is a hard task-master who has always maintained a low profile. “He lets his work do the talking,” a leader quipped.

An agriculturist by profession, Khattar comes from a humble background. His father and grandfather struggled for a living. Khattar is accomplished for his organisational skills, that he mastered being in the RSS and working at various levels in the BJP. The BJP made a conscious decision not to name any leader for the CM’s post in the run up to the polls, but it was little surprise that the party sounded its election bugle with Modi’s first rally in Karnal.

Khattar, party sources said, has been instrumental in the BJP’s success in various states, including Gujarat and Chhattisgarh. Since 2000, Khattar has been the organisational general secretary of the Haryana BJP. He was also the chairman of the campaign committee of the Haryana BJP for the 2014 Lok Sabha polls.

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