NEW DELHI: Manohar Lal Khattar, a low-profile organization man with active RSS background, was today sworn in as chief minister of Haryana, where BJP has formed government for the first time on its own.
Khattar a first time MLA, represents Karnal constituency in the Haryana assembly. He is Haryana’s first non-jat chief minister in 18 years. Khattar is the 10th chief minister of the state, which was created November 1, 1966.
60-year-old Khattar, a first-time MLA from Karnal and a non-jat leader known to be close to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, was administered the oath along with nine ministers by governor Kaptan Singh Solanki at a function attended by a galaxy of BJP leaders including the PM, party chief Amit Shah, Union ministers, chief ministers of BJP ruled states and veterans L K Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi.
The six cabinet ministers are Kavita Jain, state BJP president Ram Bilas Sharma, Abhimanyu, Om Parkash Dhankar, Anil Vij and Narbir Singh. Three others — Vikram Singh Thekedar, Krishan Kumar Bedi and Karan Dev Kamboj– are ministers of state (independent charge).
The chief ministers of BJP ruled states Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat as well as Shiromani Akali Dal chief and Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal were also present on the occasion.
Contesting the Haryana assembly polls on its own for the first time, the BJP attained a majority by bagging 47 of the 90 assembly seats in the state.
Khattar is the first Punjabi to become the chief minister of the state. He will also be Haryana’s first non-jat chief minister in 18 years.
Associated with the RSS for 40 years and BJP for 20 years, Khattar has worked as the organizing secretary of BJP in Haryana and established his reputation as a key strategist for the party in the state.
He is also known to be close to Narendra Modi. Khattar worked closely with the PM when the latter was BJP in charge of Haryana in 1996. Later Modi called Khattar to Gujarat in the aftermath of Bhuj earthquake to manage elections in Kutch. When Modi was contesting from Varanasi in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, Khattar was in-charge of 50 wards in the constituency.