Haryana chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar and interior minister Anil Vij (R) | Wikidata.org
Chandigarh: Two months after his second term as Haryana Prime Minister, Manohar Lal Khattar comes into conflict with Interior Minister Anil Vij over the control of a police wing.
The Criminal Investigation Department (CID) has traditionally been overseen by the Home Office, which also controls the police, but Khattar has taken it under his wing.
The home department itself is generally held by the prime minister – like Khattar in the first term – but this time it was handed over to Vij over the alleged displeasure of BJP Brass with Khattar’s performance in the first term.
Vij has objected to the spin-off of the CID from the police, but the prime minister is convinced that it is his prerogative to have a government department of his choice.
After Vij insisted on bringing the matter up to the cabinet for discussion, the Prime Minister made it clear on Monday that his decision was final.
Dissatisfied with Khattar
In his second term, Khattar is less powerful than in his first. Despite being retained as prime minister, the BJP wind player is not satisfied with his performance from 2014 to 19. This is why the party was unable to achieve an absolute majority in the state last year. The BJP eventually formed the government with Dushyant Chautala’s Jannayak Janata Party.
Chautala, who is also deputy prime minister, has been assigned several meaty portfolios. The most important of all things remaining at the BJP is the apartment, which the police, including the secret service, control and are responsible for the legal and regulatory situation in the state.
But Vij, a six-year-old MLA older than Khattar, was taken in at home. Vij, who is considered intolerant of corruption, has made more headlines for his loose statements.
Vij began his tenure as Home Secretary with a press conference he called himself Gabbar, the Dacoit from the Bollywood classic Sholay, several times.
“From Anil Vij aa gaya hai, from sab theek ho jaega (Now that Anil Vij is here, everything will be fine, ”he said.
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The CID line
Khattar and Vij have had a troubled relationship since the previous BJP term.
The confrontation with the CID allegedly started with an intelligence report created before the 2019 poll, which predicted a bleak outlook for the BJP.
The report, insiders from the state government said, made it clear that the BJP will have no cake in the general election. According to sources, Vij tried to access the report last month.
“Vij wanted to access the intelligence report,” said one police officer, and it is believed that he wanted to show it to the BJP high command.
However, according to Vij and Khattar, Vij was denied access to the report. Vij immediately created a three-person committee to review the work of the home department’s CID wing.
Before the committee could start work, the prime minister moved in and took up the CID. This meant that the entire police force area, which is responsible for both intelligence and surveillance, is now under the direct control of the Prime Minister and not the Interior Minister.
When the list of portfolios on the Haryana Vidhan Sabha website was updated last week to show CID under Khattar, Vij told Chandigarh journalists that the prime minister should have secured the cabinet’s nod before taking it over.
However, at a media conference in Panchkula last week, the prime minister made it clear that he was not the first or last prime minister to separate the CID from the home department for control.
He seemed to have made his decision on Monday. The Vidhan Sabha website’s portfolio section, which was updated for three days after the explosion last week, was finally accessible on Monday, showing the criminal police under the minister’s leadership.
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