Manohar Lal Khattar has been Named the new Minister of Housing and Urban Affairs

Manohar Lal Khattar has been Named the new Minister of Housing and Urban Affairs

Manohar Lal Khattar becomes the Housing and Urban Affairs Minister, replacing Hardeep Singh Puri, in the new Union Cabinet headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The 70-year-old Mr. Khattar was the former Chief Minister of Haryana and replaces Hardeep Singh Puri, who continues to hold the Petroleum and Natural Gas portfolio in the new government helmed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The Union Housing and Urban Affairs Ministry is tasked with the implementation of a number of critical projects, including some of the Modi government's flagship initiatives like the PradhanMantri Awas Yojna, the Swachh Bharat Mission (Urban), and the ambitious Central Vista redevelopment plan. The Central Vista project, known as the nation's power corridor, comprises a new Parliament building, a common central secretariat for all ministries, the Prime Minister's residence, the Vice-President's residence, and the Vice-President's office.

Mr. Khattar's entry into the Union Cabinet is a prime moment, considering his earlier positions. He had begun his political career in 1977 as a permanent member of the RashtriyaSwayamSevakSangh (RSS) and had worked with it for 17 years. He gained his first big political victory in 2014 when he became an MLA, and soon he took oath as the Chief Minister of Haryana, ending the 45-year-old monopoly of the Jat community in the state. Mr. Khattar remained Chief Minister till March 2024 when he was replaced by Nayab Singh Saini, a choice made at that time by Mr. Khattar himself, whom he had recommended to Prime Minister Modi over a year ago. 

His recent victory in the Lok Sabha elections from the Karnal constituency; where he won over Congress candidate Divyanshu Budhiraja by a huge margin crossing over 2, 35,000 votes, added to his political standing. Ostensibly close to Prime Minister Modi, Mr. Khattar has been a major face in the BJP—having worked with Modi starting from his time as the in-charge of Haryana by the BJP in the 1990s.

Born in 1954 in Nindana village in Haryana's Rohtak district, Mr. Khattar belongs to an agricultural family that migrated from Pakistan post-Partition. Four decades of experience as an RSS pracharak, have helped him rise in the BJP.

Mr. Khattar's appointment as Minister of Housing and Urban Affairs comes at a lucky time when the urban development and housing projects are critical to the government's policy. His leadership will indeed bring growth to such initiatives, ensuring effective implementations to take on the challenges of urbanization.

By LNN (Liyaans News Network)