Khattar to head first BJP govt in Haryana

Khattar to head first BJP govt in Haryana

Former Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) pracharak Manohar Lal Khattar will be the next chief minister of Haryana, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) announced here on Tuesday.

The 60-year-old bachelor will take oath of office on October 26 in Panchkula near here. The saffron party’s decision to coronate a non-Jat Punjabi as the chief minister marks a paradigm shift in the political discourse of a state where the majority Jats have long determined the political narrative. This was Khattar’s first election and he will be the first Punjabi chief minister of the Jatland. He won the Punjabi-dominated urban seat from Karnal by a huge margin of over 63,000 votes.

Haryana has seen Jat chief minister’s in the last four successive governments.
Khattar is considered close to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and also enjoys the support of the RSS. The decision to name Khattar as the chief minister was taken after a meeting of the BJP Legislative Party. Union Minister Venkaiah Naidu chaired the meeting of the 47 newly elected MLAs in Chandigarh on Tuesday.

Khattar’s nomination found no resistance during the meeting, party insiders said. Khattar’s candidature for the chief minister’s post was being talked about in party circles ever since the BJP romped home to a resounding victory.
The welcome accorded to Khattar on his arrival at the UT Guest House, the venue for the meeting, made it evident that he would be announced the chief minister shortly.

Khattar’s name for the coveted post was first recommended by state BJP unit president Ram Bilas Sharma and eventually found support from all the others.

Now that Khattar has bagged the top post, all contenders who were in the race for the top post are likely to be made cabinet ministers. It appears almost certain that Capt Abhimanyu, Ram Bilas Sharma and O P Dhankar will be inducted into Khattar’s cabinet. 

The success of the BJP in Haryana was largely because of the polarisation of non-Jat votes in its favour, which is perhaps why the party has preferred a non-Jat face to lead the state.

 

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