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Haryana gets third minister in Modi government

Chandigarh : With the induction of Birender Singh as a cabinet minister in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government Sunday, Haryana now has three ministers in the union government.

Birender Singh was one of the four cabinet ministers sworn-in in New Delhi in the first expansion of Modi’s council of ministers.

The other two union ministers in the Modi government are Inderjit Singh and Krishan Pal Gujjar. While Inderjit Singh is the minister of state (independent charge) for planning and statistics, Krishan Pal is the minister of state for road transport and highways and shipping.

Birender Singh is the only cabinet minister from the state.

A well-known leader from the Jat community, Birender Singh quit the Congress, with which he was actively involved for 42 years. He joined the BJP in August this year just before the elections to the Haryana assembly.

Birender Singh, who has been termed as a political “tragedy king” for having failed to become the chief minister of Haryana or a union minister for a long while, has finally made it to the union cabinet.

The BJP won seven of the 10 Lok Sabha seats from Haryana in the recent general elections. The party came to power for the first time in the state after winning 47 seats in the 90-member assembly in the Oct 15 assembly polls.

Birender Singh was among the names being mentioned for the BJP’s first chief minister in Haryana. However, the BJP opted for RSS leader Manohar Lal Khattar.

Birender Singh’s elevation as the union cabinet minister is being seen as a move by the BJP to woo Jats in Haryana and Rajasthan and western Uttar Pradesh.