Of 5 winning candidates in Haryana, Khattar, Rao Inderjit, Gurjar find place in Modi cabinet

In the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, the BJP had won all the 10 seats in the state, but in the recently held elections, Congress wrested five seats. Assembly polls in Haryana are due to be held in October.
Last Updated : 09 June 2024, 20:06 IST
Last Updated : 09 June 2024, 20:06 IST

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Chandigarh: Haryana, where assembly polls are due later this year, on Sunday got three berths in the Prime Minister Narendra Modi headed cabinet, with BJP veteran Manohar Lal Khattar's induction marking his foray into national politics.

Of the five Lok Sabha seats which the BJP won this time, three winning candidates have got berths in the cabinet.

Besides Khattar, the other two are BJP veterans Rao Inderjit Singh and Krishan Pal Gurjar, who have also served as Union ministers in Modi's first and second tenure at the Centre.

In the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, the BJP had won all the 10 seats in the state, but in the recently held elections, Congress wrested five seats. Assembly polls in Haryana are due to be held in October.

In addition to Rao Inderjit and Gurjar, the late Rattan Lal Kataria had also served as minister of state in the Union Ministry of Jal Shakti and the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment from May 2019 till July 2021.

From being an RSS worker once to being hand-picked as chief minister in 2014 to being replaced with his confidante 10 years later, 70-year-old Khattar has seen it all.

He joined the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh as a permanent member in 1977 and stayed with it for 17 years before he was made a member of the BJP in 1994.

In 2014, he became an MLA for the first time and was tapped to become the chief minister of Haryana by the BJP. Ten years later, in March 2024, he was replaced by his confidante Nayab Singh Saini, to allow him a chance to become a Member of Parliament.

Contesting his first Lok Sabha polls from Karnal, Khattar defeated Congress' Divyanshu Budhiraja by an impressive margin of over 2.35 lakh votes.

According to some accounts, Khattar is considered close to Prime Minister Modi, who he worked with in the 1990s in the BJP organisation.

In 2014, when the BJP formed the government in Haryana on its own strength for the first time, Khattar became the state's first non-Jat chief minister in nearly two decades, fracturing the Jats' longstanding domination of the state's politics.

Sworn in into the fresh Union Cabinet on Sunday, the BJP veteran now is set to begin his new innings as parliamentarian and a Union Minister.

Gurgaon MP Rao Inderjit is a stalwart from southern Haryana and has been a representative from the region's predominant Ahir community.

Having been elected as Lok Sabha MP for the sixth term now, his third as a BJP member, Singh over the years has enjoyed unflinching support of Ahirs.

Singh retained the Gurgaon seat in the recently concluded general elections after defeating his nearest rival Raj Babbar of the Congress by a margin of more than 75,000 votes.

Over the years, Singh has cultivated the image of a straight shooter and is seen as a no-nonsense person.

Singh, a former Congress member, has also served as MP twice from Mahendragarh, which is known as Bhiwani-Mahendragarh constituency since 2009.

Before joining the BJP ahead of the 2014 general election, Singh had been in the Congress and was already a sitting MP from Gurgaon.

A descendant of Ahir leader Rao Tula Ram, Singh under the previous Modi governments served as Union Minister of State for Statistics and Programme Implementation, Union Minister of State for Planning and Minister of State for Chemicals and Fertilisers.

Under the UPA dispensation, he had served as Minister of State for External Affairs and Defence Production.

From Faridabad, Gurjar retained his seat defeating Congress' Mahender Pratap Singh by a margin of 1,72,914 votes.

He has served as Minister of State for Power and Heavy Industries, Shipping, Road Transport and Highways, Social Justice and Empowerment during the Modi government's previous two terms.

Gurjar, who was born on February 4, 1957, in Faridabad district, also served as a member of the Haryana Legislative Assembly for three terms before he ventured into national politics.

He was among those BJP leaders from Haryana who worked hard to help his party expand base in the state during 1990s and early 2000. Gurjar also served as Haryana BJP chief from 2009-13.

It was for the first time that BJP came to power in Haryana on its own strength in October 2014.

Published 09 June 2024, 20:06 IST

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