The first non-Jat Chief Minister of Haryana in two decades, Mohan Lal Khattar was sworn in on Sunday in the presence of almost the entire frontline leadership of the Bharatiya Janata Party.
Apart from Prime Minister Narendra Modi, other BJP leaders at the function included L.K. Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi, Union Ministers Rajnath Singh, Sushma Swaraj, Venkaiah Naidu, Radha Mohan, Anant Kumar, Harsh Vardhan. Also present were Punjab Governor Shivraj Patil, Chief Ministers of States ruled by the BJP and its allies — Shivraj Singh Chouhan, Raman Singh, Anandiben Patel, Vasundhara Raje and Parkash Singh Badal.
This was the first time that the swearing-in ceremony was held in the ‘Mela ground’ in Panchkula instead of the customary Haryana Raj Bhavan.
Apart from Mr. Khattar, Ram Bilas Sharma, Captain Abhimanyu Singh, Om Prakash Dhankar, Anil Vij, Narvir Singh and Kavita Jain were sworn in as Cabinet Ministers; Bikram Singh Thekedar, Krishan Kumar and Karan Dev Kamboj were inducted as Ministers of State.
Shuns limelight Known as a key strategist of the BJP who avoids the spotlight, Mr. Khattar has worked closely with Mr. Modi as his deputy, when the latter was in charge of Haryana affairs before becoming the Chief Minister of Gujarat. Mr. Khattar is also said to have organised major relief activities during the Bhuj earthquake and managed the party’s campaign in a major portion of Varanasi during the Lok Sabha elections earlier this year.