There seems to be no end in sight of resolving the crisis in the Haryana Congress.
Following the resignation of a senior minister in the Bhupinder Singh Hooda cabinet, disgruntled veteran leader Chaudhary Birender Singh has had a meeting with BJP president Amit Shah, triggering speculation about his possible exit from the party ahead of the Assembly elections.
Singh confirmed his meeting with Shah, but asserted he was not quitting the Congress. “Not at all. There is no such thing,” he told The Indian Express when asked whether he was leaving the party. He, however, said many are thinking about leaving the party being unhappy over the style of functioning of Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda.
“It is not easy for me to leave the party. I have a long association with the Congress,” he said. Training his guns at Hooda, he said “the system he has put in place has weakened the Congress and everybody is feeling uncertain about their future. People have started leaving the party and many more may follow”.
While he sought to downplay his meeting with Shah saying “there are no untouchables in politics”, sources in the Congress said he was thinking about leaving the party, but may have had a rethink because he may not have got what he wanted from the BJP. “If I can meet Chautala, why can’t I meet Amit Shah. I have been in politics for long enough to know whom I should meet and whom I should not,” he said.
“I wanted to know from Shah what the BJP is thinking about Haryana,” he said. The sources said Singh also had a meeting with senior BJP leader Captain Abhimanyu. “He is my relative and he had come to my house today. Everything is not political,” Singh said when asked about the meeting.
Kumari Selja, another Hooda detractor, said Singh should not leave the Congress and asked the high command to get in touch with him to ensure that he does not part ways with the party. “The state leadership is responsible. He has raised certain issues. He has raised it time and again. We have all done it,” she said.
Meanwhile, a worried Congress high command managed to placate Ajay Yadav, the Haryana minister who resigned on Tuesday.
Yadav had a meeting with Congress general secretary in charge of Haryana Shakeel Ahmed during which the party assured him that his grievances would be addressed. Yadav, the sources said, is likely to withdraw his resignation in a day or two.
Meanwhile, Hooda Wednesday said there was no upheaval in the Congress and it was going strong to form the government in Haryana for the third consecutive time.
Addressing mediapersons, Hooda said he was unaware that Birender Singh has met Shah. However, asked about Congress leaders apparently being unhappy with him, he said, “No leader is annoyed because of me, their annoyance could be on account of their vested interests. Let’s see who defects.”
He said that his detractors were raising the issue of discrimination because they have no other issue. “When one finds discrimination after 10 years, you can very well understand the situation,” he said in an obvious reference to Captain Ajay Singh Yadav, who resigned as cabinet minister Tuesday. (With ENS Chandigarh)