All 17 Congress MLAs on Tuesday skipped a meeting called by Haryana Pradesh Congress Committee president Ashok Tanwar to discuss organisational elections. Majority of these MLAs, who are supporters of former Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda and had earlier asked the party high command for a change in the state leadership, said that due to meetings of Vidhan Sabha Committees on Tuesday they were unable to attend Tanwar’s meeting. After the meeting, which was attended by Pradesh Returning Officer Pradeep Jain, Tanwar said that a discussion was held on conducting free and fair organisational elections.
About all MLAs skipping the party meeting, he said: “Everyone was intimated about the meeting today. Only they can tell why they did not come. May be there were other commitments. It is up to them to come.” Asked about the demand by MLAs regarding change of leadership in the state, Tanwar said that everyone should support the person who the high command gives charge.
Over the past few months, differences between Tanwar and Hooda factions have deepened in the state. The situation worsened after a clash between supporters of the two leaders in New Delhi last year while waiting to welcome AICC vice-president Rahul Gandhi. Tanwar received injuries during the clash. Following a complaint by a supporter of Tanwar, Delhi Police registered a case against Hooda. Later in the day, 11 out of the 17 party MLAs held a press conference to support Hooda over the Manesar land deal case.
On being asked why the MLAs had not attended the meeting of the party, former Vidhan Sabha Speaker Kuldeep Sharma said, “We had meetings of the Vidhan Sabha committees and were busy. We have sought time from the Pradesh Returning Officer and would meet him soon.” He further said that the high command had already been apprised of the situation in Haryana Congress. Mahila Congress seeks 33% reservation
Members of the Mahila Congress of the state have started a signature campaign to seek 33 percent reservation in all elected bodies including state assemblies and Lok Sabha. Sumitra Chauhan, president of the state unit said that they would be submitting signatures to AICC president Sonia Gandhi on August 20.