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Modi 3.0: Manohar Lal Khattar inducted as Cabinet Minister

New Delhi, June 9, 2024
BJP veteran leader Manohar Lal Khattar was on Sunday inducted into the Union Council of Ministers led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, his old friend with whom he used to take rides on a motorcycle.

Khattar, a low-profile organisation man with an active Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS) background, was BJP’s first Chief Minister for Haryana. He was at the helm from October 26, 2014, until his resignation on March 12, 2024

The former RSS ‘pracharak’ secured a significant victory in the Karnal Lok Sabha seat by securing 54.93 per cent votes.

Despite being a first-time MP, the BJP chose him from the Punjabi community to solidify the party’s stronghold in the Jat-dominated politics of Haryana, which is slated to go to the polls in October.

An RSS man with a clean image, Khattar, a grounded organisational man, is known for his simple lifestyle.

Born in Rohtak district, Khattar, who aimed to become a doctor, had contested his first assembly elections in 2014 from Karnal. He retained the seat in the 2019 assembly polls too.

This time he battled the Lok Sabha seat and scripted BJP’s hat-trick in Karnal, which is spread over nine assembly segments.

Before Khattar, Bhajan Lal was the last non-Jat Chief Minister of Haryana from 1991 to 1996.

Khattar believes in the principles of creating a ‘Ram Rajya’, meaning an honest government with zero tolerance for corruption.

Khattar replaced sitting BJP MP Sanjay Bhatia, who was the second among the MPs with the highest winning margins.

When he became the Chief Minister on October 26, 2014, Khattar was a political greenhorn. However, his party failed to cross the halfway mark in the 90-member Assembly in 2019.

Khattar secured 739,285 votes while his nearest rival and Congress nominee Divyanshu Budhiraja secured 506,708 votes, according to the Election Commission of India.

He joined the RSS in 1977 and became a full-time pracharak (worker) for 14 years from 1980. Later, he moved to the BJP.

In his public addresses, Prime Minister Modi often recalls his old friendship with Khattar by saying, “Manohar Lal and I are old friends. He used to have a motorcycle which he used to ride and I used to sit at the back of the bike. We used to often take rides on motorcycles in Haryana when we were working together for the RSS.”(Agency)

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