Caste equations weigh heavy as BJP looks for its next Haryana chief

Sukhbir Siwach
Haryana Caste equations, BJP Haryana chief, Manohar Lal Khattar, Haryana news, chandigarh news, indian express news

Currently, Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar belongs to a non-Jat community (Punjabi), while the state BJP president Subhash Barala is from the Jat community.

As the BJP looks to pick its next state president in Haryana, the most talked about topic in party circles is whether the leader will be a Jat or a non-Jat candidate.

Currently, Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar belongs to a non-Jat community (Punjabi), while the state BJP president Subhash Barala is from the Jat community.

Sources said that in the caste-centric politics of Haryana, there is already hectic lobbying for the post by different caste groups.

From the Jat community, J P Dalal, BJP MLA from Loharu, is Cabinet minister, while Kamlesh Dhanda is a Minister of State (MoS) in the Khattar government from the BJP quota. Deputy Chief Minister Dushynat Chautala (JJP) and Power Minister Ranjit Chautala (Independent) are also from Jat community.

During the Khattar government’s previous tenure, there were two senior ministers from Jat community - Captain Abhimanyu and Om Prakash Dhankar - in Haryana, while Chaudhary Birender Singh was part of Centre’s Modi government. Apart from this Barala was state party chief.

Those who argue for a state president from the non-Jat community this time, say that there is already enough representation given to the Jats in the state’s BJP-JJP government. However, others who are lobbying for the president from Jat community say that Dusyant Chautala and Ranjit Chautala are not from the quota of the BJP, adding that this time there is no Jat minister in Union government from Haryana. “The responsibility of state party president may be instrumental in expanding the party base among Jats especially after BJP’s debacle in most of the Jat dominated Assembly seats recently,” said a Jat leader from BJP.

Whatever are the caste calculation, many in the party believe that the BJP should give command of the party to a strong leader, who has his own base and appeal among the masses.

Sources say that Kurukshetra MP Nayab Singh Saini, a confidant of Khattar, former ministers Om Prakash Dhankar and Captain Abhimanyu and current BJP president Subhash Barala are among the front runners for the top post.

Sources say Chief Minister favours continuation of Barala as the state party chief. Two-time BJP MLA from Jat community, Mahipal Dhanda, and Union Minister Krishan Pal Gujjar are also among the aspirants for the top party post in the state.

Sources in the BJP said the decision regarding the next state party chief will be taken soon as the party has already initiated process of appointing mandal presidents across the state.