23/03/2016 4:27 PM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:26 AM IST

Haryana CM: Don't Use My Surname, Don't Identify My Caste

Hindustan Times via Getty Images
KOLKATA, INDIA - JANUARY 30: Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar during a press conference to attract investors, at a City Hotel on January 30, 2016 in Kolkata, India. Khattar said that during the day he met a number of industrialists in Bengal, who have expressed their desire to invest around 5000 crore in Haryana. (Photo by Subhendu Ghosh/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)

NEW DELHI -- While discussing the recent Jat agitation for reservation, Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar said that he does not want to be identified by his caste, and he asked that people not to use his surname "Khattar" anymore.

"I was a (RSS) pracharak till 1994 and no one knew my caste at the time," the Bharatiya Janata Party leader told lawmakers on Tuesday.

"Even today, I don't like it when people use 'Khattar' after my name. I am just Manohar Lal. That is enough for my identity," he said.

Over the course of two weeks, members of the Jat community brought Haryana to a standstill, demanding reservation in jobs and colleges under the Other Backward Classes (OBC) quota.

The Haryana Chief Minister was severely criticized for failing to contain the chaos, which spilled into neighboring states, and the violence that claimed the lives of 30 people.

Eventually, the unabated spell of lawlessness took a really ugly turn, with targeted attacks on non-Jats and their property.

The inter-caste violence has strained relations between Jats and non-Jats in the state.

The Indian Express has previously reported that Khattar's family is rooted in West Punjab, now in Pakistan. His family settled in Rohtak, Haryana after the Partition, and then moved to Banyani village.

His father Harbans Lal worked as a laborer before opening his own shop, and eventually taking up farming.

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