Af­ter meet­ing Amit Shah, Khat­tar con­fi­dent of keep­ing CM’s post

Af­ter meet­ing Amit Shah, sounds con­fi­dent of keep­ing Haryana CM’s post

The Hindu - - FRONT PAGE - Nis­tula Heb­bar

Haryana Chief Min­is­ter Manohar Lal Khat­tar met BJP president Amit Shah in New Delhi on Wed­nes­day, and said his gov­ern­ment had taken ad­e­quate ac­tion in the af­ter­math of the vi­o­lence that broke out af­ter Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh was con­victed of rape.

Speak­ing to pressper­sons, he de­nied that he was to be sacked af­ter 32 peo­ple were killed in po­lice fir­ing.

The Op­po­si­tion Congress has been de­mand­ing the Chief Min­is­ter’s res­ig­na­tion.

“Those de­mand­ing my res­ig­na­tion may keep de­mand­ing it; we have done our work well,” Mr. Khat­tar said af­ter meet­ing Mr. Shah.

Party sup­port

It seemed clear that Mr. Khat­tar came out of the meet­ing as­sured of the BJP’s sup­port to him in the face of the de­mand for his res­ig­na­tion. “We have put sys­tems in place so that these kind of sit­u­a­tions can be dealt with,” he told pressper­sons.

Asked if he would meet Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi as well, he said he had sub­mit­ted his re­port to Mr. Shah. “We [the BJP] have a sys­tem where we brief the na­tional president. He can share it with who­ever he feels he should share,” he said.

Sources said the re­port given to Mr. Shah de­tailed the ad­min­is­tra­tive ac­tion taken by the State gov­ern­ment in the af­ter­math of the ver­dict.

He de­nied that any BJP MLA or Min­is­ter had ac­com­pa­nied the Dera chief to court or to jail af­ter his con­vic­tion.

He did not deny, how­ever, that the party had sought Mr. Singh’s sup­port in the pre­vi­ous As­sem­bly elec­tions in Haryana fol­low­ing which he was ap­point­ment Chief Min­is­ter.

“We ap­peal to all vot­ers dur­ing the elec­tions for their sup­port, but nowhere is it im­plied that any­one is above the law. No one is above the law,” he said.

Mr. Khat­tar said his gov­ern­ment’s “target” was to make sure that the Dera chief ap­peared be­fore the spe­cial CBI court for his sen­tenc­ing.

“We were clear in our target that we wanted him to ap­pear be­fore the court ...we didn’t want him to find any ex­cuse not to ap­pear,” he said.

No deal with Dera

He de­nied there was any “deal” be­tween the State gov­ern­ment and the Dera chief, a fact, he said, made clear by the fact that the gov­ern­ment cre­ated a sit­u­a­tion where the Dera chief pre­sented him­self be­fore the judge.

“None of my MLAs were with the Baba. Those who met him ear­lier may have done so, but not on the day that he ap­peared be­fore the court. No VIP treat­ment was given to him; he was moved to the rest house till such time as ar­range­ments in the jail were be­ing made, af­ter which he was shifted to the jail,” Mr. Khat­tar said.

Mr. Khat­tar seems to have sur­vived a sec­ond chance af­ter he was called to ac­count in his han­dling of the vi­o­lence re­lated to the Jat ag­i­ta­tion in Fe­bru­ary 2016.

Those de­mand­ing my res­ig­na­tion may keep de­mand­ing it; we have done well

Manohar Lal Khat­tar

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