BJP leadership unhappy with Khattar's handling of Panchkula situation


NEW DELHI : The BJP leadership is believed to be unhappy with the way Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar handled the situation ahead of the court verdict in a rape case against Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh. The Dera chief's conviction on Friday triggered widespread violence in which over 30 people were killed.


The violence in Panchkula and some other parts of Haryana on Friday was the third major instance of violence in the state since Khattar became Chief Minister of the first Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government in Haryana in 2014.

Six people had lost their lives in November 2014 following a stand-off between supporters of controversial sect leader Rampal and security forces in Hisar district. Thirty people had died in the Jat agitation for job quotas in the state in February last year.

Party sources said Khattar may not have a grip over the administration, and lapses continued to mar the image of the party and that of the government in the state that could cast a cloud over the central leadership as well.

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh is also believed to have spoken his mind on the issue when he talked to the Chief Minister. He cut short his visit to Kyrgyzstan and rushed back ahead of the judgment.

The feeling at the Centre is that the Khattar government did not take adequate measures to prevent the Dera supporters from gathering in large numbers in Panchkula. 

Party sources said Khattar had a clean image but the incidents had raised doubts about his administrative abilities.

Khattar, a first-time MLA, was chosen by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and party chief Amit Shah to lead the party government in Haryana.

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