Millennium Post

No provincialism

A Punjabi CM for Haryana is as unbelievable a development as the moon catching fire. But as implausible as it may sound, the Jat dominated state has indeed chosen Manohar Lal Khattar, a Punjabi first time MLA from Karnal to lead the state. Bhajan Lal was the last non-Jat Haryana CM who demitted office in 1996. Khattar, born in Rohtak district has been an RSS Pracharak for 40 long years and his association with Narendra Modi and Amit Shah dates back to his RSS days. Haryana on the other hand has been a Jat stronghold and the influence can be gauged from the fact that Bhupinder Singh Hooda, the outgoing Congress CM is a Jat and held office for the longest time possible : 10 years. There is another aspect behind Khattar’s selection and that is the changing dynamics of state politics in India.

For long, state elections had been polarised on the basis of caste religion and regional association and it was assumed that only a Tamil could become Tamil Nadu’s CM, a Bengali for West Bengal, a Marathi for Maharashtra, a Sikh for Punjab and so on and so forth. But with the elevation of the Bhartiya Janta Party as the kingmaker at the national level and also in Maharashtra and Haryana, the ages old adage of having and seeking a regional satrap at the helm of affairs in a state is slowly fading into the oblivion. Unknowingly, the 60-year-old Khattar will have another responsibility on his shoulders: that of proving his selection with good governance and able administration. This would not only elongate his candidature but might also work as a deterrent for anybody who thinks that a particular person having allegiance to a particular caste, sect, religion or region can lead and understand people from that social classification only.

This development also has another connotation. The man who can be credited with the Haryana victory other than the PM Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah is Jagdish Mukhi, a veteran BJP leader from Delhi and a Punjabi himself. If it wouldn’t have been for him, this victory wouldn’t have been as emphatic as it has been in Haryana. Amit Shah, a Gujarati had done the same in the politically virulent state of Uttar Pradesh during the Lok Sabha polls where only the Mayawatis and the Mulayams have been mostly in the reckoning for the past two decades now.              
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