Manohar Lal Khattar assigned as union housing & urban affairs minister

01 Jun 2024

Manohar Lal Khattar has been appointed the Housing and Urban Affairs Minister in the new Union Cabinet of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government. The 70-year-old former Haryana chief minister replaces Hardeep Singh Puri, who retains the Petroleum and Natural Gas Ministry.

The Union Housing and Urban Affairs Ministry is mandated to execute various projects, including the PM Awas Yojana, Swachh Bharat Mission (Urban), and the Central Vista redevelopment plan. The Central Vista redevelopment, the nation's power corridor, includes a new Parliament building, a common central secretariat, revamping the three-km Rajpath from Rashtrapati Bhavan to India Gate, new offices and residences for the prime minister, and a new vice-president enclave.

Inducted into the Union Cabinet on Sunday, the BJP veteran is set to begin his new role as a parliamentarian and Union Minister. Khattar joined the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) as a permanent member in 1977 and remained with it for 17 years before joining the BJP in 1994. In 2014, he became an MLA and was appointed chief minister of Haryana by the BJP. Ten years later, in March 2024, he was replaced by Nayab Singh Saini.

Contesting his first Lok Sabha polls from Karnal, Khattar defeated Congress's Divyanshu Budhiraja by a margin of over 2.35 million votes. Khattar is considered close to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, having worked with him in the 1990s within the party organization. A lifelong bachelor, Khattar has worked for nearly 40 years as an RSS pracharak. His family, of agricultural background, migrated to Haryana from Pakistan post-Partition and settled in Nindana, Rohtak district, where he was born in 1954.

In 2014, when the BJP formed the government in Haryana for the first time, Khattar became the state's first non-Jat chief minister in nearly two decades, breaking the Jat community's longstanding political dominance. Regarding the party's move to appoint Nayab Saini as Haryana's CM in March this year, Khattar stated that the decision was not sudden and that he had suggested Saini's name to Modi more than a year ago. (Source: ET Infra)

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