Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar says his rivals long mocked him as an “anari” before acknowledging him as a “khiladi” after seeing his government’s performance, but he would like to shun the monikers of novice and player to just be a “sevak”, a servant of the people. Confident of returning to power for a second term in office, Khattar said his government ran the state untainted by corruption or bias towards any caste. In the last lap of his hectic campaign for the state assembly elections on October 21, Khattar told PTI that the BJP will receive support from all communities. “Those who used to term me ‘anari’ are now saying I am a ‘khiladi’.
I don’t think so…I have worked like a ‘sevak’ of Haryana in last five years and will continue to do so,” Khattar said on Friday, a day before campaigning ends. Moving towards election day with the slogan “Ab ki baar 75 paar”, Khattar said the BJP government in Haryana had worked for the overall development of the state without any biases. “We ran the government in a transparent manner in last five years…and ensured all around development of the state…without any bias towards any specific caste,” he said.
The 65-year-old former RSS ‘pracharak’ said the state BJP government worked on the principle of “Haryana Ek, Haryanvi Ek” (united Haryana, united Haryanvis) to take everyone along the path of the development. “The BJP is getting overwhelming support from across all sections of the people in the state and will come back to power with thumping majority,” he said, adding that the people of the state had rejected the opposition’s caste-based negative politics. Khattar, who is crisscrossing the state and travelling more than 400 km daily, said the BJP gave a stable, honest and development-oriented government in the past five years without indulging in favouritism and nepotism.
The BJP came to power on its own in Haryana for the first time in 2014. It won 47 of the 90 seats with a vote share of 33.2 per cent. Khattar contested his first election and was also the party’s first chief minister in Haryana. In the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, the party’s vote share jumped to more than 58 per cent in the state and it won all 10 parliamentary constituencies.
This time, the BJP is eyeing more than 75 seats in the 90-member state assembly and has given the slogan “Ab ki baar 75 paar”.