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HomeNewsJob scams, loss of support among Jats hit Manohar Lal Khattar hard

Job scams, loss of support among Jats hit Manohar Lal Khattar hard

CHANDIGARH: Former RSS pracharak

Manohar Lal Khattar

‘s exit as

Haryana CM

on Tuesday, months short of becoming the state’s longest-serving incumbent, was as unexpected as his elevation to the chief ministership in 2014.
Khattar was then a relatively unknown face in politics, save for his closeness to PM Narendra Modi due to their shared RSS background. As a first-time MLA, his selection was all the more surprising because BJP had several contenders for the post, including ministers in earlier coalitions.
Had he completed his second consecutive term, Khattar would have surpassed his Congress predecessor Bhupinder Singh Hooda’s continuous tenure of nine years, seven months and 21 days.

Manohar Lal Khattar resigns as Haryana Chief Minister amid rift with JJP

Khattar, who took over as CM on October 26, 2014, remained in office for nine years, four months and 16 days – a stint that saw him evolve into a politician who could be as ruthless towards challengers within the party as he was against the opposition.

Khattar’s style of governance was put to the test when a series of

job scams

rocked Haryana and questions were raised about the functioning of govt institutions such as the state public service commission. He also lost

support

among the farming community, especially

Jats

. During the 2020-21 farmers’ agitation, he found it difficult to travel in the state’s hinterland.
One school of thought is that BJP persisted with Khattar for so long because it had no one else it could immediately turn to.

His ability to align with and consolidate non-Jat voters in favour of BJP endeared him to the party even as the Jat community, which has long dominated Haryana politics, turned its back on him.
Barring March 2017, when around 16 BJP MLAs appeared to stage a revolt, Khattar never faced any trouble during his second term despite being dependent on Dushyant Chautala-led JJP and independent MLAs to keep the coalition afloat. True to BJP’s “alliance dharma”, the former CM took care not to publicly utter a word against ally JJP.
Many believe that it was the fragmentation of the opposition in Haryana, especially Congress, and the Modi factor that spared Khattar the blushes on several occasions during the past nine years.