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Who is Nayab Singh Saini, the new CM of Haryana

Source: PTI   -  Edited By: Utkarsh Mishra
March 12, 2024 17:03 IST
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The announcement to pick Nayab Singh Saini as Haryana's next chief minister was sudden and unexpected, but had similarities of element of surprise which the Bharatiya Janata Party is known for when it had named Manohar Lal Khattar to the post in 2014.

IMAGE: Nayab Singh Saini with BJP chief J P Nadda, in Chandigarh on November 28, 2023. Photograph: ANI Photo

Saini, 54, a low profile OBC leader, rose through the ranks in the party and was unanimously elected as the leader of the state BJP's legislature group at a meeting held in Chandigarh on Tuesday.

Considered as a confidante of Manohar Lal Khattar, 69, Saini will be replacing the BJP strongman whose second term as CM was going to end in October.


The surprise move by the ruling BJP came weeks before Lok Sabha polls are to be held. Haryana assembly polls are due in October.

The BJP had in October appointed Saini, belonging to Other Backward Classes (OBC), as its Haryana unit president in place of Om Prakash Dhankar.

Earlier on Tuesday, Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar and all his cabinet ministers submitted their resignations to Haryana Governor Bandaru Dattatreya.

Saini's appointment as the state BJP chief in October was seen as the party's move to strengthen its hold over the OBC community and non-Jats.

The support of Jats, who are the most populous communities in the state, is largely seen to be divided between the Congress, the Jannayak Janta Party (JJP) and the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD).

Along with these factors, the move to pick Saini as the chief minister is also being seen as a counter to the anti-incumbency perception against the Khattar dispensation.

The population of the Saini community is around eight per cent in Haryana.

The community wields influence in many of Haryana's northern districts, including Ambala, Kurukshetra and Hisar besides in few other districts.

In 2014, when the BJP had formed its government for the first time on its own strength in Haryana, the party had picked Khattar, a first-time MLA from Karnal, as the chief minister.

At that time, Khattar was picked up ignoring senior leaders like Ram Bilas Sharma, Anil Vij, Capt Abhimanyu and O P Dhankar.

In the events which unfolded on Tuesday, Saini was picked to succeed Khattar in a similar fashion.

In the outgoing Khattar cabinet, Anil Vij, a six-term MLA, is the senior most minister.

Saini was born on January 25, 1970 in a village called Mirzapur Majra in Ambala district. A law graduate, he enjoys cordial terms with Khattar, with their relationship going back to their Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh days.

Saini was also a minister in the Khattar cabinet between 2014 and 2019. He was a legislator when he fought the Lok Sabha elections in 2019.

In 2019, the BJP was victorious on all the 10 Lok Sabha seats in Haryana with the party candidates winning with massive margins.

Saini's name as new chief minister was announced after a meeting of BJP MLAs which was held at Haryana Niwas in Chandigarh.

During the past three decades, Saini rose through the ranks in state BJP and also held the position of district president and general secretary of state BJP Kisan Morcha. He was district general secretary of state BJP's youth wing in 2002 for Ambala and became the district president three years later.

He became MLA from Naraingarh assembly segment in 2014, when the BJP came to power in Haryana for the first time on its own strength.

In the 2019 LS polls, Saini had defeated his nearest rival, Congress' Nirmal Singh from the Kurukshetra seat, by a margin of 3,84,591 votes.

Saini, who was a minister in the Khattar cabinet, was fielded in 2019 from Kurukshetra seat after sitting MP R K Saini rebelled.

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Source: PTI  -  Edited By: Utkarsh Mishra© Copyright 2024 PTI. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PTI content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent.
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