Khattar sworn in as CM

9 ministers also take oath in Haryana

Khattar sworn in as CM

Manohar Lal Khattar took oath as the first Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Chief Minister of Haryana in 48 years at a ceremony attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and several chief ministers at Panchkula near here on Sunday.

Khattar, a former Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) pracharak, is considered a Narendra Modi loyalist. 

Governor Kaptan Singh Solanki administered the oath of office and secrecy to Khattar. Nine ministers, including three ministers of state with independent charge, also took oath. All cabinet leaders enjoy a clean and non-controversial image. 

Khattar, a 60-year-old bachelor, is the first non-Jat Punjabi chief minister in Haryana after a gap of 18 years. The choice of his cabinet is a mix of both Jat and non-Jat leaders. It also includes a woman.

Top BJP leaders, including party chief Amit Shah, L K Advani, Sushma Swaraj, Rajnath Singh, Venkaiah Naidu and Navjot Singh Sidhu, attended the swearing-in ceremony. 

Chief Ministers Vasundhara Raje (Rajasthan), Anandiben Patel (Gujarat), Shivraj Singh Chauhan (Madhya Pradesh) and Manohar Parrikar (Goa), several leaders owing allegiance to the RSS, and religious leaders attended the ceremony. 

Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, whose party Akali Dal fought the Haryana Assembly elections against its own ally, the BJP, also attended the ceremony.

MLA Prem Lata, wife of Birender Singh who severed four-decade ties with the Congress to join the BJP, did not find a slot in the first list of  ministers. The event, normally held in state capital Chandigarh, was organised at Panchkula.

The  township was adorned with pictures of Modi. It was in Panchkula’s Sector 7 residential area that Modi spent several years as a party office-bearer in charge of Haryana. Modi and Khattar then worked together to build the party.

Those inducted into Khattar’s cabinet include lawyer and state BJP president Ram Bilas Sharma; retired Army officer Capt Abhimanyu; retired banker Anil Vij, former geography lecturer O P Dhankar, two-time MLA from Sonepat Kavita Jain and agriculturist Rao Narbir Singh. Bikram Singh Thekedar, Krishan Kumar and Karan Dev Kamboj were made ministers of state. 

Former chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda did not attend the ceremony though he was invited.

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