Khattar to woman who asked for factory in village: ‘I’ll send you on Chandrayaan-4, now sit down’

Gurugram: Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar found himself in a spot of bother again as a purported video surfaced in which he seemingly mocked a woman, who appealed for a factory to be opened in her village.

The video is from Khattar’s Jan Samvad (public interaction) Wednesday in Hisar, where the woman from Bhatol Jattan village made the appeal so that the people could get jobs.

Manniye mantri ji, meri to yahi maang hai ki aap Bhatol Jattan gaon mein ek factory lagwane ka kasht karen. Logon ko rozgar milega (Honourable minister, my demand is that you should make efforts to set up a factory in Bhatol Jatan village. People will get employment),” the woman is heard saying in the video.

In response, Khattar curtly responds from the dais: “Agli baar jab chand pe ek aur jayega na vo Chandrayaan-4, uspe bhej denge (Next time someone else goes to the moon on Chandrayaan-4, we will send you there).”

The Haryana chief minister then goes on to tell her to sit down (Baith jao) thrice as the woman stands shocked as a burst of laughter follows after his reply.

This is not the first time that Khattar has lost his cool during his Jan Samvad programmes. In May at another such Jan Samvad event, Khattar snubbed an elderly woman in Sirsa district saying that he knew she was sent by someone (read, opposition party) after tutoring her.

At the same event, he purportedly orders security staff to thrash an “AAP worker” and to throw him out of the venue.

The same month, a woman sarpanch of Bani village threw her dupatta on Khattar’s feet in frustration and anger when she was stopped from reading out the demands of her village during the Jan Samvad programme at Sirsa in May.

When ThePrint reached out for a statement, a senior officer of the Haryana government said certain things were said in humour and added that the video could be doctored as well. “I don’t think we should attach much importance to this. Sometimes things are said in humour in a certain context. This looks like a small doctored clip,” the officer said.

The opposition — the Congress and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) — latched onto the latest episode to criticise Khattar.

“Shame on such a Chief Minister. Those who were elected by the public to serve, today they are making fun of the public (sic),” the AAP tweeted, as it dug up PM Modi’s alleged ties with “billionaire friends”.

Senior AAP leader Ashok Tanwar, a former Sirsa MP, tweeted the video and tagged Khattar with a comment in Hindi: “Before Chandrayaan-4, the people of India will show you the moon and sun all in 2024 (sic).”

Later, Tanwar also alleged that the police detained AAP state spokesperson Manoj Rathee and party youth wing president Virender Narwal because they wanted to attend Jan Samvad for asking questions from the chief minister.

Tweeting the same video, the Congress alleged “Khattar did exactly what BJP and RSS think”. “There is no respect for women in BJP and RSS, there is no place for them,” it added.

(Edited by Tony Rai)

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