PANCHKULA: Manohar Lal Khattar took oath as Haryana Chief Minister here on Sunday, leading the first BJP Government in the state. He is the fifth non-Jat Chief Minister of the state and the first in the last 18 years. Haryana Governor Kaptan Singh Solanki administered the oath of office and secrecy to Khattar along with six Cabinet ministers and three ministers of state at a mega ceremony here.
The six other Cabinet ministers sworn in are Haryana BJP president Ram Bilas Sharma, party’s national spokesman Captain Abhimanyu, Kishan Morcha president Om Parkash Dhankar, Anil Vij, Rao Narbir Singh and Kavita Jain.
Three Ministers of State with independent charge are Vikram Singh Thekedar, Krishan Kumar Bedi and Karan Dev Kamboj. A first-time MLA from Karnal, Khattar, 60, has a four-decade-long association with the RSS and BJP. Born in Rohtak district, Khattar, a bachelor who once wanted to become a doctor, contested his first Assembly elections from Karnal during this Assembly polls and won by a margin of 63,736 votes. He joined the RSS as a full-time ‘pracharak’ in 1980 and after 14 years of service to the Sangh, Khattar was moved to the BJP as party general secretary in Haryana in 1994. He is also known to be close to Modi.
The swearing-in ceremony was attended by Modi, Rajnath Singh, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, Health Minister Harsh Vardhan, Power Minister Piyush Goyal, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Venkaiah Naidu, Food Minister Ram Vilas Paswan, Minister of Shipping and Transport Krishan Pal Gujjar, Minister of Women and Child Development Maneka Gandhi, Minister of State of External Affairs V K Singh and Minister of Chemicals and Fertilizers Ananth Kumar.
CMs of BJP-ruled states -- Madhya Pradesh’s Shivraj Singh Chouhan, Vasundhara Raje of Rajasthan and Gujarat CM Anandiben Patel were present. BJP president Amit Shah, former deputy prime minister L K Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi and other top leaders of the saffron party also attended the ceremony. Punjab CM Parkash Singh Badal also attended the ceremony.