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  4. Haryana: What Manohar Lal Khattar said on Anil Vij and Dushyant Chautala's JJP | WATCH

Haryana: What Manohar Lal Khattar said on Anil Vij and Dushyant Chautala's JJP | WATCH

Manohar Lal Khattar was present on the stage during the oath-taking ceremony of his successor Nayab Singh Saini. Showing respect for Khattar, Saini touched his predecessor's feet before swearing-in.

Edited By: Raju Kumar @rajudelhi123 Chandigarh Updated on: March 12, 2024 19:34 IST
Manohar Lal Khattar
Image Source : PTI/FILE Manohar Lal Khattar

BJP leader Manohar Lal Khattar held a press conference moments after Nayab Singh Saini took oath as Haryana chief minister replacing him on Tuesday.  While speaking on breakup with ally JJP, he said the 10 seats in the state were won by the BJP and the JJP leaders must have talked to the central leadership.

There is nothing official but they (JJP) had decided that they will fight the Lok Sabha seats separately and accordingly the decisions have been made, he added.

On Anil Vij's absence at the oath-taking ceremony, he said he was upset but the issue will be resolved soon.

"Anil Vij is our senior leader...It is in his nature that he gets upset quickly but becomes okay soon. There have been such instances before. He is upset but we are talking to him...Our new chief minister will also talk to him," he added.

Meanwhile, Saini was sworn in as Haryana's new chief minister, hours after Khattar and his Cabinet ministers resigned from their posts. Five others took the oath as members of the new council of ministers along with Saini. They are BJP leaders Kanwar Pal, Mool Chand Sharma, Jai Parkash Dalal and Banwari Lal and Independent MLA Ranjit Singh Chautala.

Saini's choice as CM underlines BJP's thrust on consolidation of OBC votes 

The BJP's decision to have a second OBC leader - Saini - join its rank of 12 chief ministers marks its determined push to consolidate the community's votes and blunt the opposition's attempt to weaken its support base ahead of Lok Sabha elections.

Three months after the BJP made the surprise pick of Mohan Yadav to replace another Other Backward Classes (OBC) leader Shivraj Singh Chouhan as Madhya Pradesh chief minister, the party on Tuesday chose Saini, a first-term MP and its Haryana president, to take over from Manohar Lal Khattar.

Saini's elevation as Haryana chief minister fits in with a pattern that has gathered pace in the BJP after the Congress and its allies like the Samajwadi Party in Uttar Pradesh and the RJD in Bihar began making an aggressive bid to woo the largest group of communities and politically most significant, especially in Hindi-speaking states, by pushing for a caste census.

Following its big win in three Hindi heartland states in December, the BJP replaced its four-term CM Chouhan with Yadav and brought a few other leaders from OBCs and other traditionally disadvantaged sections like SCs and STs as chief ministers and deputy chief ministes.

Vishnu Deo Sai (ST) became Chhattisgarh CM while one of his two deputies, Arun Sao, hails from the OBCs. Jagdish Devda, one of two deputies to Yadav, is a Dalit and so is Deputy Chief Minister Prem Chand Bairwa in Rajasthan.

While Chouhan also came from a backward community, Yadav comes from a caste that is most numerous in the states of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, both of which together account for 120 Lok Sabha seats and were swept by the BJP and its allies in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.

Yadavs have a sizeable presence in many other states.

The BJP had last year made Samrat Choudhary, a Kushwaha, its Bihar state president and further boosted his profile by making him one of its two deputy CMs in Bihar under Nitish Kumar.

Saini's eponymous caste also has a fair presence in several Hindi states and Kushwahas and Malis, both backward castes, also identify with it, political watchers say.

Yadav and Saini are also homegrown backward BJP leaders as they have had a long innings in the party at its various organisational level.

Having risen through the ranks, they will serve as the BJP's fitting answer to opposition OBC satraps like SP president Akhilesh Yadav and RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav, both heir to powerful political families.

While Rahul Gandhi has spearheaded the Congress' outreach to the OBC with the demand of caste census, the Yadav satraps from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar have been reaching out to different castes under the group to take on the BJP.

The BJP has sent Mohan Yadav to Uttar Pradesh and Bihar since he became chief minister to connect with his community, which forms a solid base of the SP and the RJD in these states respectively.

Saini is likely to be its another backward face, especially for the non-dominant OBC castes whose support to the BJP has been crucial to its rise in a number of states since Prime Minister Narendra Modi led the party to power at the Centre in 2014.

Also read: Nayab Singh Saini becomes new Haryana Chief Minister: Complete list of ministers



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