Manohar Lal Kattar. Manohar Lal Khattar is the next chief minister of Haryana. The decision to appoint the 60-year-old leader, a former RSS member for four decades, as the tenth chief minister of the state was announced after a meeting of the BJP legislators in Chandigarh on Tuesday.Have been elected to be the leader of legislature & next Chief Minister of Haryana. Heartfelt thanks to everyone for their constant support!&; Manohar Lal Khattar (@bjpmlal) October 21, 2014Khattar, a Punjabi, is the first non-Jat chief minister of the state in 18 years after Bhajan Lal. A first-time MLA, he now represents Karnal in Haryana Assembly, a seat he won with a margin of 63,736 votes.”The MLAs have elected me as the leader of BJP Legislature Party. It was a unanimous decision. We are going to the Governor and will put forth our claim to form the government,” Khattar said after the announcement.Let us open a new chapter that focuses on good governance & development for all for a prosperous & progressive #Haryana. Jai Hind!&; Manohar Lal Khattar (@bjpmlal) October 21, 2014The swearing-in of the new Haryana chief minister and other ministers is likely to take place on October 26. The ceremony is expected to be held at a sports stadium in Panchkula, 15 km from Chandigarh, instead of the Haryana Raj Bhavan.(Also read: Who is Manohar Lal Khattar?)Khattar beat other frontrunners for the post including Captain Abhimanyu, Ram Bilas Sharma, Anil Vij, Union Minister Rao Inderjit Singh and former MP Chaudhary Birender Singh.Union Minister Venkaiah Naidu and senior BJP leader Dinesh Sharma were appointed as the party’s observers for Haryana, where the BJP won simple majority with 47 seats in the 90-member House, paving the way for the party’s first ever government in the state since its formation in 1966.advertisementWhy are Khattar and Modi considered to be close? Khattar has been a prominent Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh leader for 40 years and is considered close to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.The unmarried former RSS pracharak, who was deputed to the BJP years ago, was chairman of the BJP’s campaign committee for Haryana in the Lok Sabha elections. The party won seven of the state’s 10 seats.The BJP did not announce a chief ministerial candidate in Haryana in the run-up to the October 15 elections, preferring to build its campaign around PM Modi’s popularity.Apart from sharing their RSS antecedents, Khattar is also said to have worked closely with Modi, who had begun his Haryana campaign this year from Karnal, Khattar’s constituency.