Chief minister-designate Manohar Lal Khattar, who won from the Karnal assembly seat with a decisive margin, has his roots at Banyani village, 14 km from Rohtak.
Though the announcement that their “Manu” would be the chief minister was made in the afternoon, villagers here had broken into a celebratory mode since morning by distributing sweets and performing a havan.
Paras Ram Yadav, Khattar’s elderly neighbour who was surrounded by villagers over a hookah near the ancestral one-bedroom house of the latter, was telling villagers, “Manu has always led a disciplined life and his patriotism drew him to the RSS in 1980 after he did his matriculation from Bali Anandpur village.”
Talking to HT, Yadav said though Khattar did not visit the village frequently, he did come there in their hour of need. “He used to come and touch my feet and ask about my well-being, accompanied by some BJP workers,” he added.
Charanjit Khattar, one of the four brothers of Khattar, said his brother had worked for sometime at their brother Jagdish’s cloth shop in Delhi before joining the RSS as a full-time pracharak.
He said that after Partition, the family came to Nindana village near Meham and had a provisional store there, but later their father, Harbans Lal, decided to practise agriculture and bought land at Banyani village.
“Manohar, the eldest of all siblings, was born there, while others were born in this village,” he said.
Om Prakash Kalsan, a retired head constable from police, said he had studied with Khattar till Class 8. He said Khattar was good at maths and did not waste his time during school.
Darshan Lal Khattar, cousin of the CM-designate, who is a farmer and looks after the latter’ share of the house, said the village was bereft of drinking water; in the absence of irrigation facilities, the farm land yielded only a single crop in a year.
He said the entire village was hopeful that their woes would now draw the attention of the government and they would witness “acche din”.
Charanjit Khattar, a government teacher and brother of the CM-designate, said that to remain a bachelor was his brother’s choice. On the reaction of the family to this, he said in a lighter vein, “One day, when our father was trying to convince him for marriage, he told him that when he was of marriageable age, he was not asked, and now when he was past that age, he did not want to marry.”