Did BJP’s Manohar Lal Khattar Say He is a CM Only For Punjabis?

Although Khattar might have made a reference to Punjabis, he did not say he was the CM only for them.

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While CM Khattar might have made a reference to being a Punjabi, he did not say he is the chief minister only for the people belonging to the community. 
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CLAIM

At a rally in Sonipat on 16 December, Aam Aadmi Party chief Arvind Kejriwal alleged that Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar had indulged in caste-based politics. He said that Khattar had “claimed he was a Punjabi, and all Punjabis should vote for him." (refer to 13:13 minutes in the video)

While Kejriwal had referred to an advertisement, a news clipping of Khattar purportedly saying, "I am the CM only for Punjabis, don't have anything to do with other castes,” went viral on 28 December.

The tweet was shared by several AAP workers on Twitter, but has since been removed.

TRUE OR FALSE?

While the Haryana government did take out an advertisement urging the Punjabi community in Karnal to vote for a BJP candidate, the image of a newspaper clipping that is circulating online appears to be false.

According to the clipping, at a rally in Chandigarh ahead of municipal elections, Khattar had purportedly said that he had assumed office to work only for Punjabis.

This claim is false. The Tribune reported that CM Khattar, while campaigning for the BJP in Karnal, had said that although he does not believe in caste, if the election was to be fought on the basis of caste, then people should vote for the BJP since.

“I do not believe in caste system and (I believe in) seeking votes on the basis of the development work being done by the BJP government, but if you want to cast your votes on the basis of caste then you should cast in favour of the BJP candidate as I am also a Punjabi.”
Manohar Lal Khattar, Haryana CM, as reported by The Tribune

The Quint went through videos of the rally posted by local news channels but could not trace a clip of Khattar saying that he was the chief minister only for Punjabis.

WHAT ABOUT THE ADVERTISEMENT?

However, the advertisement that Kejriwal had cited in his speech had been published in local newspapers. The ad reads, "In 52 years, Haryana gets its first Punjabi CM. If you make a mistake today, you won't get a chance for the next 60 years." (translated)

Despite sharing it on Facebook, BJP’s mayoral candidate from Karnal, Renu Bala Gupta, denied publishing the advertisement, reported The Times of India.

चलो आज कुछ अच्छा करते हैं।

Posted by Renu Bala Gupta on Saturday, December 15, 2018

The report also said the Haryana poll panel had promised a probe into the content of the advertisement and assured that adequate action would be taken.

GURUGRAM POLICE ARRESTS AAP MEMBER OVER FAKE CLIPPING

Earlier this week on 29 December, the Gurugram Police arrested an AAP leader and an Indian National Students Organisation (INSO) student leader for sharing the fake newspaper clipping on Twitter and other social media platforms, reported news agency PTI.

Kejriwal, too, questioned the arrests and took to Twitter to condemn the Haryana government's action.

(With inputs from PTI, The Tribune and The Times of India)

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