The Ahirwal region and Karnal district have generally been ignored in the political history of the state but Khattar, Punjabi by origin and with an RSS background, has made sure that, himself included, there are five members from these areas in the new, 10-member ministry.

Khattar, who won the Assembly polls from Karnal, has given a ministerial berth to Karandev Singh Kamboj, a Backward Class leader and a first-time MLA from the Indri seat in Karnal district.

As for Ahirwal in southern Haryana, there are three leaders from the region in the Khattar ministry -- Ram Bilas Sharma (Mahendargarh), Narbir Singh (Badshahpur) and Vikram Thekedar (Kosli).

The Jat leaders in the ministry are Capt. Abhimanyu and Om Prakash Dhankar, while representing the SC category is Krishan Kumar Bedi, a first-time MLA from Shahabad.

The ministry which was sworn in today gives representation to nine of the 21 districts of Haryana -- Karnal, Hissar, Jhajjar, Ambala, Gurgaon, Sonipat, Rewari,  Mahendargarh and Kurukshetra.

Among the ones left out are the Jat-dominated districts of Jind and Rohtak as also Sirsa, Bhiwani, Faridabad, Panchkula and Yamunanagar.

Khattar is expected to expand his ministry soon as he can have a maximum of 14 ministers - 15 per cent of the 90 member state assembly.

Apart from the chief minister, seven other ministers are first-time members of the state Cabinet. Only two -- Ram Bilas Sharma and Rao Narbir Singh -- have been ministers in the past.

Khattar is also a first-time MLA, as are Capt. Abhimanyu, Om Parkash Dhankar, Vikram Thekedar, Krishan Kumar Bedi and Karan Dev Kamboj.

Of the 10, Dhankar had lost the recent Lok Sabha elections from Rohtak to Congress's Deepender Hooda, the son of former chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda.

The 60-year-old chief minister has included a number of young faces in his Cabinet, youngest of whom is Kavita Jain -- the only woman MLA to take oath today and the youngest minister at 37 years. Thekedar (44), Abhimanyu (46) and Krishan Kumar Bedi (47) are the other leaders of below 50 years of age in the ministry. Dhankar is 53 and so is Karan Dev. Rao Narbir is 55, Anil Vij, 61. Ram Bilas Sharma is 60.

All the 10 ministers are well-qualified, being at least a graduate or holding professional degrees, including in law and education.

Sharma is a BA, Ll.B while Abhimanyu is a B.Com, Ll.B with Dhankar (MA, M.Ed.), Vij (B.Sc.), Kavita Jain (M.Com, B.Ed.), Krishan Kumar Bedi (M.Sc.), Kamboj (MA, M.Ed.) and Thekedar and Rao Narbir Singh (both graduates) all possessing higher education degrees.

Sharma, currently the state BJP chief under whom the party won seven of the eight seats it contested in the recent Lok Sabha polls, is also a former RSS pracharak. His association with BJP goes back four decades.

One of tallest leaders of the BJP in the state, Sharma was born in Rathiwas village near Mahendragarh in 1949.

He initially worked as a professor but became politically active while opposing the Emergency (June 25, 1975 – March 21, 1977) and joined BJP. He has been to jail as a political prisoner. He had a steep political rise till the year 2000 and won four straight Assembly poll contests from Mahendergarh.

But in 2000, he lost from two seats -- Ballabhgarh and Mahendergarh -- as an INLD-BJP candidate.

Sharma has been Minister of Education in Haryana in the successive governments of Chaudhary Bansi Lal and Om Prakash Chautala.

In 1999, as the leader of the BJP legislature party, he decided to withdraw support from the Bansi Lal government and endorse Chautala instead.

Another leader from Ahirwal region, Thekedar, is a first- time MLA from Kosli in Rewari district. Also from southern Haryana is new minister Rao Narbir Singh, the MLA from Badhshahpur.

Rao Narbir had successfully fought Assembly elections from Jatusana in 1987 and Sohna in 1996. He has previously held the portfolios of state Home Minister in 1987 and Transport, Food and Supply and Cooperation Minister in 1996.

He became the youngest legislator in the country to occupy the office of state home minister at the age of 26 years. He also had additional charge of Sports and Printing and Stationery ministry in 1996. He had unsuccessfully contested the Lok Sabha elections from Gurgaon in 2009.

He is at present the vice president of state BJP.

The only woman in the Khattar ministry, Kavita Jain, was elected in 2009 and 2014 from the Sonepat seat. It was a chance entry for her into the state Assembly as she was forced to contest the 2009 Assembly elections after her husband, Rajiv Jain, a former Officer on Special Duty (OSD) in the Bansi Lal regime, could not do so due to a civil case.

Dhankar, one of the two Jat leaders in the ministry, has been the president of the BJP Kisan Morcha since 2011. He, too, is a former RSS worker.

In the 2014 general elections, he had contested as the BJP candidate from the Rohtak constituency and come in second in the poll battle after giving a tough fight to Bhupinder Singh Hooda's son Deepinder Singh.

Dhankar is the national coordinator for the Narendra Modi's dream project - 'Statue of Unity'.

Dhankar had courted controversy recently ahead of the Lok Sabha elections when he said that given the skewed sex ratio in Haryana and the increasing instance of illegal trafficking of Bihari brides by Haryanvi males, bonds should be developed between Haryanvi and Bihari families through government intervention from better social harmony.

There was opposition to the plan from Bihar leaders such as Lalu Prasad Yadav and Sharad Yadav. However, Bihar BJP leader Sushil Modi had supported Dhankar on the issue.

Dhankar has held key positions such as the state general secretary, state president, national secretary and national president in BJP and its various affiliated organisations.

After 18 years of association with RSS, in 1996 he joined BJP and performed duties as a national secretary during the Atal Bihari Vajpayee era.

He was 'Pradesh Prabhari' for Himachal Pradesh and greatly contributed to the formations of the BJP government in the hill state.

Dhankar has held various padayatras and cycle yatras to agitate and protest against "meagre compensation and arbitrary land acquisition" for SEZs. The Dhanka-led BJP Kisan Morcha has been demanding implementation of the MS Swaminathan Commission recommendations which envisage 50 per cent profit on input cost for farmers. BJP has promised in its election manifesto to implement the Swaminathan panel recommendations.

Anil Vij, a five-time MLA from the Ambala Cantonment seat, has been the party' sole face in the state Assembly in the past decade while the saffron outfit was passing through a rough phase in Haryana.

A Jat leader, Capt. Abhimanyu is BJP's national secretary and national spokesman. He had contested unsuccessfully in the 2005 and 2009 Assembly polls besides in the Lok Sabha elections.

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