Eye on Assembly elections, BJP inducts 3 of five MPs from Haryana into Modi govt : The Tribune India

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Eye on Assembly elections, BJP inducts 3 of five MPs from Haryana into Modi govt

Karnal MP Manohar Lal Khattar gets Cabinet berth | Rao Inderjit, Krishan Pal Gurjar retained as MoS

Eye on Assembly elections, BJP inducts 3 of five MPs from Haryana into Modi govt

Photo for representation. File photo



Tribune News Service

Geetanjali Gayatri

Chandigarh, June 9

With three of the five newly elected Members of Parliament from Haryana being accommodated as ministers in PM Narendra Modi-led NDA government at the Centre, the BJP clearly has an eye on the state Assembly elections to be held in October.

The party today inducted former Chief Minister and Karnal MP Manohar Lal Khattar as Cabinet minister, while six-time MP Rao Inderjit Singh and Krishan Pal Gurjar, both ministers in the previous term of the NDA government, were sworn in as Minister of State (Independent Charge) and Minister of State, respectively.

Wooing various communities

  • By inducting first-time MP and former CM Manohar Lal Khattar as Cabinet minister, the BJP has tried to placate the Punjabi community
  • By giving Inderjit a berth in the Council of Ministers, the party has tried to reward the Ahir community that backed it in LS poll
  • The BJP is hoping to cash in on its Gurjar vote bank in the upcoming Assembly elections by accommodating Krishan Pal Gurjar

The party deciding to accommodate three of five MPs in the cabinet from a “small state” like Haryana indicates that the BJP is working towards consolidating non-Jat votes ahead of the Assembly poll.

Though in the past also, Modi has had three ministers from Haryana in the Council of Ministers, it was on account of a larger number of seats unlike this time when the party is down to half its tally of 2019.

The elections in Haryana are divided along caste lines and the BJP sees non-Jats as their vote bank.

By inducting first-time MP Khattar as Cabinet minister, the party has tried to placate the Punjabi community that had been feeling “hurt” by the party leadership’s move to replace Khattar with CM Nayab Singh Saini. The community had stood firmly behind the BJP ever since it assumed power in the state in 2014. The party leaders, even at that time, had maintained that Khattar, a close confidant of PM Narendra Modi, would graduate to a bigger role at the Centre, but it did not seem to have cut ice with the community this election. By giving him a Cabinet rank, the BJP wants to appease the Punjabi community and send out a message that Khattar continues to be “powerful” within the party and in the government.

Sources said by giving Inderjit a berth in the Council of Ministers, the party had achieved the twin objective of giving him his due as also rewarding the Ahir community that stood with the party in the recently concluded Lok Sabha elections.

While the BJP could not have overlooked Inderjit’s claim given his seniority, sources said the party also wanted to duly recognise the Ahir community’s support on Gurgaon and Bhiwani-Mahendergarh seats. However, he has not been promoted as Cabinet minister.

Given the party’s emphatic win from Faridabad in a clash of the Gujjars (the BJP had fielded Krishan Pal Gurjar, while the Congress fielded Mahendra Pratap), the BJP is hoping to cash in on its Gurjar vote bank in the Assembly elections by accommodating Krishan Pal Gurjar.

Meanwhile, the CM today announced handing over possession certificates of 100 sq ft plots to 7,500 BPL families, while depositing Rs 1 lakh in the accounts of 12,500 beneficiaries who could not be given plots. He was accompanied by the party’s two SC faces, Rajya Sabha MP Krishan Lal Panwar and vice-president of the party’s women’s cell Banto Kataria, indicating the party’s outreach programme to tap and win back the SCs.

Sources in the BJP said the representation given to the three communities indicated that the war between the BJP and the Congress was far from over. “Our party and its leaders would leave nothing to chance ahead of the Assembly poll. We will come back to power for the third time,” said a senior leader.

The party, it seems, has reconciled to the fact that it cannot make inroads into the Jat vote bank that stands with former Chief Minister and Congress leader Bhupinder Singh Hooda. This also probably explains why the party’s Bhiwani-Mahendergarh MP Dharmvir Singh, a Jat, was not considered for a ministerial berth despite a tough contest and his third consecutive win.

About The Author

The Tribune News Service brings you the latest news, analysis and insights from the region, India and around the world. Follow the Tribune News Service for a wide-ranging coverage of events as they unfold, with perspective and clarity.

#BJP #Karnal #Manohar Lal Khattar #Narendra Modi


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