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Saturday, June 22, 2024

From refugee to Union Cabinet: Long trek of Manohar Lal Khattar


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New Delhi: Forced out of his ancestral home during the Partition, Manohar Lal Khattar’s family came to India, where he sought to study medicine but landed up in business till he found his heart’s calling as a full-time Pracharak (campaign volunteer) of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS).

Born on May 5, 1954, in Nindana village of Rohtak district, Khattar joined the RSS as a permanent member in 1977. According to the biographical sketch on his website, Khattar rendered 17 years of

“active and dedicated service” to the organisation before he was made a member of the BJP in 1994.

He was elected from the Karnal Assembly constituency in 2014 and became the first Chief Minister of Haryana belonging to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

He successfully led a number of electoral campaigns, that earned him the reputation of a tough task master.

At one point in time, Khattar was given organisational charge of 12 states, including Delhi and Rajasthan.

He contested an election for the first time from the Karnal Assembly constituency and won the seat by 63,773 votes.

He was unanimously elected leader of the BJP Legislature Party on October 21, 2014, and took oath as Chief Minister on October 26, 2014. After ten years at the helm of the state, the party’s top brass asked Khattar to resign earlier this year as the alliance government developed fissures and its popularity seemed on a downward curve.

But within months of being shunted out of Haryana, Khattar is now poised to play an administrative role at the national level as a Cabinet Minister of the Narendra Modi government.

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