Challenges galore before new Haryana CM Nayab Saini - Hindustan Times
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Challenges galore before new Haryana CM Nayab Saini

By, Chandigarh
Mar 13, 2024 08:24 AM IST

A race against time, poll code of conduct may hamper Saini’s innings in the hot seat; there are certain similarities in the way the newly sworn Haryana chief minister, Nayab Singh Saini and his predecessor and mentor, Manohar Lal Khattar who resigned on Tuesday, were chosen for the top post. Khattar, a first-time MLA then, did it almost a decade ago in 2014.

There are certain similarities in the way the newly sworn Haryana chief minister, Nayab Singh Saini and his predecessor and mentor, Manohar Lal Khattar who resigned on Tuesday, were chosen for the top post. Khattar, a first-time MLA then, did it almost a decade ago in 2014.

Haryana governor Bandaru Dattatraya administers oath to CM Naib Singh Saini at Haryana Raj Bhawan in Chandigarh on Tuesday. (Keshav Singh/ HT)
Haryana governor Bandaru Dattatraya administers oath to CM Naib Singh Saini at Haryana Raj Bhawan in Chandigarh on Tuesday. (Keshav Singh/ HT)

Both were surprise choices, both signified BJP’s politics of enticing the non-Jat communities, and both were unknown commodities; novices, politically as well as administratively. Saini comes with the background of being a one-time MLA and an MP besides serving as a junior minister of the state in the 2014 BJP government led by Manohar Lal Khattar. His ascendancy to the job of state unit chief of the BJP was also courtesy his mentor.

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With the Haryana assembly elections due in October this year and the model code of conduct for Lok Sabha elections likely to be imposed anytime now, Saini would have little time and maneuverability to accomplish his and party’s goals.

“It is unlikely that the new chief minister would make quick or sudden changes initially, including reshuffle in administrative machinery. He may be guided by his predecessors and his aides for the initial period. In fact, it is suspected that there could be some back seat driving initially. But his test would lay after the Lok Sabha elections when he will have to show administrative acumen and ability. While he may not initiate much of his own ideas, programmes and schemes started by his predecessor would need his immediate attention and necessitate periodic review. How much can he adapt and deliver,” said an observer.

Many in the officialdom suspect that the new chief minister may become a lame duck in view of the time limitations he has. “Saini may not be able to command deference from his cabinet colleagues. Imagine the situation if a senior MLA like Anil Vij agrees to get inducted into his cabinet,” said an official.

Saini’s biggest challenge will be to lead the BJP into 2024 assembly elections and help it tide over a strong anti-incumbency sentiment. “The new chief minister lacks mass appeal and he would not have much time to accomplish political goals. The BJP would sorely miss the experience of a nine-year old chief minister, Manohar Lal Khattar,” said a BJP functionary not willing to be named.

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Thursday, June 13, 2024
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