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India Khattar: From vegetable vendor to swayamsevak to 2nd-time Haryana...

Khattar: From vegetable vendor to swayamsevak to 2nd-time Haryana CM

While Khattar has risen socially, economically and politically through struggle, Chautala has seen ups and downs despite being born in the lap of luxury, thanks to the corrupt practices of his father and grandfather


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Manohar Lal Khattar has been sworn in as chief minister for the second consecutive time today. Dushyant Chautala, who won the Assembly election for the first time, has become the deputy chief minister. The careers of the two politicians who assumed their respective offices on 27 October have been full of ups and downs.

Khattar was born in the village of Nindana in 1954. His grandfather Bhagwandas Khattar had come from what is now Pakistan at the time of Partition. His grandfather and father Harbanslal Khattar had to struggle for livelihood in the early days after coming to India. Later, Harbanslal opened a shop in the village. He moved to the neighbouring Baniyani village, bought some land and started farming. From here, Khattar completed his initial studies.

Khattar used to sell vegetables once

When Khattar was in the 10th grade in school, he took up the task of transporting vegetables from the family field every morning to Rohtak Mandi, carrying vegetables on a bicycle every day, and then return to the village and go to school. After high school, Khattar wanted to study medicine, but his father wanted him to do farming or some other business. He did not agree. He moved to Delhi at a relative’s. While living here, he gave up his fascination for medical studies. He enrolled in the University of Delhi and graduated.

Khattar also sold clothes, was in trade union

ML Khattar thereafter became a salesman at a cloth store of the relative with whom he was staying in Delhi. Subsequently, he established his own shop. With proceeds from this shop, he got his sister married and told his brothers back in Haryana to join him in Delhi.

Now a second-time chief minister of Haryana, Khattar had joined the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) during Emergency in 1976. He was so impressed with Atal Bihari Vajpayee that he made up his mind not to marry. He became a Sangh pracharak in 1980. In 1994, the Sangh sent him to the BJP.

In the 2014 Haryana Assembly election, the BJP fielded him to contest from the Karnal Assembly. He won the seat. His party got a simple majority in the Assembly. In accordance with the will of the BJP leadership, he was elected the leader of the legislative party and made the chief minister. In a state where the BJP used to be the third runner-up or rank lower in election results before 2014, Khattar managed to lead his party to a position of the single largest party in the second Assembly election he faced (the exit polls had predicted a smooth victory for the BJP in both Maharashtra and Haryana).

Khattar swore-in as the Haryana chief minister again on Sunday.

Carrier of Chautala legacy

Dushyant Chautala was born on 3 April 1988 into the Devi Lal family. He was born to Omprakash Chautala’s elder son Ajay Chautala and daughter-in-law Naina Chautala. He got his early education from Hisar High School. He passed Class 10 from Himachal Pradesh and moved to the US to pursue further studies. In 2011, he completed BSc in public administration.

In 2013, when a court sentenced Dushyant’s grandfather Omprakash Chautala and father Ajay Chautala to 10 years imprisonment — the judgment was upheld by the Delhi High Court and Supreme Court — in the teacher recruitment scam. With his father and grandfather in jail, Dushyant began his political career.

Youngest MP in 2014

In the 2014 Lok Sabha election, INLD fielded Dushyant from the Hisar Lok Sabha seat. He became an MP by defeating Kuldeep Bishnoi. He was the youngest MP at the age of 26.

On 18 April 2017, Dushyant married Meghna, daughter of IG Paramjit Ahlawat.

In 2018, the Chautala family’s discord turned from bad to worse. So much so, the INLD expelled Dushyant, Digvijay and Ajay Chautala from the party. On 9 December 2018, Dushyant founded the Jananayak Janata Party (JJP). He fought from Hisar in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections but lost. About 11 months after the formation of the JJP, Dushyant’s party managed to win 10 seats in the Haryana Assembly. They struck a bargain with the single largest party BJP that accepted their demand to make Dushyant the deputy chief minister of Haryana.

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