In a game of one-upmanship in Haryana Congress, former CM Bhupinder Singh Hooda will hold a Kisan Panchayat at the state’s centrally-located town of Jind on Saturday.
Hooda is facing investigations in several cases initiated by the current state BJP government.
His bete noire and Haryana Congress chief Ashok Tanwar has also announced a Maha Sammelan of dalits at Jind on July 16 while another senior Congress Randeep Singh Surjewala has also been holding a series of protests in the state.
In the faction-ridden Haryana Congress, Hooda has support of 13 MLAs out of the total of 17 that the party currently has.
Ever since the firing on farmers in Madhya Pradesh last month, Hooda has led three kisan panchayats, at Pipli (Kuruksherta), Sirsa and Sonepat.
Encouraged with the attendance in them, Hooda has been making all efforts to woo the farmers, who are facing tough times because of crisis in agriculture.
Hooda’s outreach comes amid similar agitations by main opposition party Indian National Lok Dal led by Abhay Singh Chautala, which led the stir on the issue of SYL canal.
A close associate of Hooda and former Chief Parliamentary Secretary Ran Singh Mann said, “The impressive attendance of farmers in the kisan panchayats show they want a true leadership which can raise a voice in the time of crisis. After the Jind panchayat, Hooda will hold two more kisan panchayats; one at Yamunanagar and another at Nuh.”
Speaking to The Indian Express, Hooda said, “The farmers are in trouble today. They are not finding buyers for their crops. You have seen the example of potatoes when they were forced to sell the same at the rate of 20 paise per quintal. Now you see, how they are facing problems in selling the crop of sunflower.”