The factional feud in the Haryana Congress — between former CM Bhupinder Singh Hooda and his detractors — is set to deepen as the election of Sachin Kundu as state Youth Congress chief could be countermanded.
Kundu, backed by Hooda’s son and Rohtak MP Deepender Hooda, had defeated Chiranjeev Rao, son of Congress leader Captain Ajay Yadav.
Yadav is a staunch Hooda detractor and his son was backed by Hooda’s rivals, including state Congress president Ashok Tanwar.
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The outcome of the election last month was challenged by Rao, after which the matter was referred to FAME, an NGO run by former Election Commissioners such as J M Lyngdoh, T S Krishnamurthy and N Gopalsamy, which oversees internal elections in the Youth Congress and NSUI.
FAME member K J Rao, a former adviser to the EC, said “recommendations have been made” to the party leadership on the alleged poll irregularities. Party sources said FAME’s recommendations are normally accepted.
The result of the election was challenged on various grounds. Allegations regarding financial irregularities, booth capturing and interference from senior leadership had been made. Kundu had polled 25,086 votes, defeating Rao by 10,076 votes.
The tussle between Hooda and his detractors came to the fore elsewhere, too. In the run-up to Faridabad municipal corporation polls, AICC general secretary in charge of Haryana Kamal Nath on Monday announced the party “will not nominate members for the elections but instead the local Congressmen themselves will decide and support the strongest candidates in the party”. He cited precedence. This, party leaders, said meant nobody would be given the party symbol to contest.
Sources said Tanwar was in favour of fielding candidates on party symbol while Hooda was against it. “With this announcement, there will be a free for all. There will be multiple candidates owing allegiance to the Congress and division in the votes could result in the BJP or INLD emerging victorious…The BJP is fighting on its symbol,” a senior leader said.