NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday heaped praise on Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar, saying the state has after decades got a government under his leadership which works with absolute honesty and that it will be evaluated as the best in the last five decades.

Noting that he has known Khattar, an RSS pracharak drafted into the BJP like Modi, for many years, the prime minister said his talent has come to the fore as a chief minister and added that he works with dedication and innovation, with even the central government adopting the model of some of the Haryana government’s programmes.

Modi’s public praise of the low profile chief minister has come at a time when the BJP leadership’s decision to remove three chief ministers, two in Uttarakhand and another in Gujarat, has prompted speculation about the fate of the CMs of other party-ruled states.

The prime minister’s strong endorsement of Khattar, whose leadership has come under the scanner for a few times and who has his share of detractors within the state party unit, is likely to silence his critics in the BJP and will be a strong boost to his morale.

Speaking at the inauguration of the Infosys Foundation Vishram Sadan at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) on the Jhajjar Campus of AIIMS, New Delhi, Modi noted that he had worked for many years in Haryana as a BJP leader and seen many state governments closely.

“After many decades Haryana has under the leadership of Manohar Lal Khattar got a government which works with absolute honesty. It has got a government which thinks day and night about the state’s bright future,” he said.

The media, Modi added, has not paid much attention to this positive and constructive matter but this government will be considered the best whenever an evaluation is done. He lauded the Khattar government for its innovative approach and foresight.

The “BJP team” under Khattar has laid down a foundation for Haryana with its long-term vision, and this is going to be a big strength for the state, he added.

Modi later tweeted, “The coming years will always remember and cherish the pro-people work being done by @mlkhattar Ji and his team for the progress of Haryana.” Khattar became chief minister in 2014 after the BJP stormed to power in the state on its own for the first time.

Though the BJP failed to win a majority in the 2019 polls, it joined hands with the Jannayak Janta Party to form the government and reposed its trust in him again.