Manohar Lal Khattar new Housing and Urban Affairs Minister

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New Delhi, Jun 10 (PTI) Manohar Lal Khattar has been appointed the Housing and Urban Affairs Minister in the new Union Cabinet of Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government.

The 70-year-old former Haryana chief minister will replace Hardeep Singh Puri who has retained the Petroleum and Natural Gas Ministry in the new government.

The Union Housing and Urban Affairs Ministry is mandated to execute various projects including Modi government's flagship PM Awas Yojna, Swachh Bharat Mission (Urban) and the ambitious Central Vista redevelopment plan.

The redevelopment of the Central Vista, the nation’s power corridor, envisages a new Parliament building, a common central secretariat, revamping of the three-km Rajpath from the Rashtrapati Bhavan to the India Gate, new office and residence of the prime minister, and a new vice-president enclave.

Inducted into the Union Cabinet on Sunday, the BJP veteran now is set to begin his new innings as a parliamentarian and a Union Minister.

Khattar joined the Rashtriya Swayam Sevak Sangh as a permanent member in 1977 and stayed with it for 17 years before he was made a member of the BJP in 1994.

In 2014, he became the MLA for the first time and was tapped to become the chief minister of Haryana by the BJP. Ten years later, in March 2024, he was replaced by his confidante Nayab Singh Saini.

Contesting his first Lok Sabha polls from Karnal, Khattar defeated Congress's Divyanshu Budhiraja by an impressive margin of over 2.35 lakh votes in this Lok Sabha election.

According to some accounts, Khattar is considered close to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who he worked with in the 1990s in the party organisation.

Khattar, a bachelor, worked for almost 40 years as an RSS pracharak.

In 1996, Khattar started working with Modi, who was then the BJP in-charge of Haryana.

Coming from an agricultural background, his family arrived in Haryana from Pakistan post-Partition. His family settled at Nindana, a village in Haryana's Rohtak district. He was born in Nindana in 1954.

In 2014, when the BJP formed the government in Haryana on its own strength for the first time, Khattar became the state's first non-Jat chief minister in nearly two decades, fracturing the Jat community's longstanding domination of the state's politics.

On the party's move to bring in Nayab Saini as Haryana's CM in March this year, Khattar has maintained that the move was not sudden and that he only had suggested Saini's name to Modi more than a year ago. PTI BUN BUN HVA RT RT