Controversial Khattar: CM comments on Ryan murder, messes up again
Haryana police have been left red-faced as CBI accused them of framing a bus conductor in the Pradyuman Thakur's murder case. It was even more surprising when Haryana CM Manohar Khattar decided to defend the cops: they hadn't yet completed investigations, he asserted. But this isn't the first time Khattar did or said something controversial; his tenure is full of such incidents. Read on!
Khattar's rise in RSS and then in BJP
Born in a laborer's family in 1954, Khattar wanted to become a doctor, but ended up joining the RSS in 1977. Later, he became a full-time pracharak. In 1994, he moved to BJP as Haryana general secretary. In 1996, BJP allied with Bansi Lal's party; however, after Lal's government became unpopular, Khattar withdrew support. This incident established him as a strategist with political acumen.
Not experience, but proximity to Modi, gets him the CM-seat
Khattar first worked with Modi in 1996, when he was Haryana BJP in-charge. After the Bhuj earthquake, Modi requested Khattar to manage Kutch district elections. BJP secured three of six seats. In LS elections 2014, BJP won seven of eight Haryana seats under Khattar's leadership. His closeness to Modi and a clean-image led to his becoming the CM soon after, despite having no administrative-experience.
Khattar's first test as CM: Six died during Rampal's arrest
A month after taking office, Khattar faced his first test in the Rampal Dass case; the self-declared godman was facing several charges including murder, rioting, etc. Haryana government had enough time to make arrangements to arrest him. However, when police finally arrived to nab him, Rampal's supporters clashed with them, using his devotees as "shields." Six people, including women and a child, died.
Two years later, Khattar government couldn't check the Jat riots
The Jat community has been agitating and demanding OBC quota for several years to avail reservations in colleges and jobs. In 2016, their agitation turned violent. About 30 people were killed and property worth crores was damaged. During the same time, several women were allegedly dragged out of cars and gangraped. The Khattar government failed to take adequate measures to stop the violence.
Gurmeet Ram Rahim riots: Khattar didn't act despite warnings
After Ram Rahim's conviction, large-scale violence left 250 people injured and 30 dead. Haryana police had warned that Dera followers were storing inflammable material and weapons. But the Khattar government still allowed a mob to congregate outside the court. After the riots, Khattar lauded himself for the government's handling of the crisis. "Let them demand the resignation, we have done our job nicely."
Khattar is also known to make controversial statements
Khattar has consistently made scandalous statements. In 2014, Khattar had blamed women for India's rising number of rapes. He said, "If women want freedom, why don't they just roam around naked?" Later, he said Muslims can stay in India if they give up eating beef.
After these blunders, he faces opposition from within BJP
After these blunders, not just opposition leaders, but even BJP leaders have pushed for his resignation. He is accused of depending only on his RSS advisors, who are also novices in handling state affairs. Additionally, after 2014 Assembly elections, experienced legislators like Ram Sharma and Anil Vij had hoped for the CM post. However, they were relegated to cabinet posts, raising dissent against Khattar.
Can BJP afford to lose Khattar?
Reports suggest that several senior leaders have expressed concern about Khattar's incompetency in handling situations; however, no one wants to openly talk against someone seen as Modi's nominee. Although Modi holds sway over the party, even he can't do anything if BJP loses favor with Haryana's public. The masses are critical of Khattar's mishandling of law-and-order situations along with the state's insignificant progress.