Manohar Lal Khattar is a low profile RSS leader who is known for his quiet work on the field and in the BJP that has earned him the reputation of a tough task master with a no-nonsense approach.
60-year-old Khattar, who once wanted to become a doctor, is a man known for his organisational skills. He enjoys a clean image and is considered close to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, with whom he has worked in the past.
Khattar, who is a bachelor, has worked for almost 40 years as a Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) pracharak.
Known for his political acumen, he played the role of a master strategist and successfully led many electoral campaigns for his party, the latest being the 2014 Parliamentary elections in Haryana as Chairman of Election Campaign Committee.
It was in 1996, that Manohar Lal started working with Modi, who was then in charge of Haryana. In 2002, Manohar Lal was given the charge of Jammu and Kashmir as the State’s Election in-charge.
Notably, Modi started his election campaign for the 2014 Haryana Assembly polls by addressing his first rally on October 4 at Karnal, the constituency from where Khattar recorded an emphatic win.
Coming from a humble agricultural background, his family arrived in Haryana from Pakistan post-partition.
Khattar joined RSS as a full-time Pracharak in 1980 and after 14 years of service to the Sangh, moved to the BJP and placed at the helm as party general secretary in Haryana in 1994.
His tenure as party general secretary established him as a strategist, an able and firm handed administrator, and a man who had a keen sense of the state’s politics.
In the aftermath of the Bhuj earthquake, Khattar was called upon to manage the elections in Kutch district by Modi and the BJP secured three out of six seats.
The first elections held in the then newly created state of Chhattisgarh also saw Khattar’s contribution to the party’s position. He worked in Bastar which was a traditionally Congress-voting area and won 10 out of 12 seats – thus playing a decisive role in bringing BJP to power in the state.
For the Lok Sabha elections of 2014, Khattar was appointed the Chairman of Election Campaign Committee (Haryana) contributing to the party’s thumping success in which it won seven of the eight seats it contested from.
Apart from his crucial role in the party’s success in states like Punjab, Haryana and Chhattisgarh, Manohar Lal Khattar was given prominent roles in various elections in different states where he delivered results.
Khattar’s aim is to build a unique Haryana that leads in various fields – acknowledged not only nationally but internationally.
All throughout the election campaign, he was confident that people of Haryana will vote in large numbers and form a BJP government.
“We will work very hard to ensure good governance and development for all,” he had said earlier, adding that there was a need to adopt a multi-pronged approach for Haryana’s development-assisting farmers while developing industries and creating jobs in the State.