Haryana Cong factional battle reaches tipping point,2 more threaten to quit

The factional battles in the Haryana Congress is reaching a tipping point. While one among its 41 MLAs has resigned,two others have threatened to follow suit

Written by MUKESH BHARDWAJ | Chandigarh | Updated: April 9, 2014 11:55 am

The factional battles in the Haryana Congress is reaching a tipping point. While one among its 41 MLAs has resigned,two others have threatened to follow suit. Two of the five Rajya Sabha MPs and an equal number of Lok Sabha MPs are also openly defiant of Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda,accusing him of adopting a lopsided development policy.

Moreover,over 10 MLAs who had hoped to make it to the cabinet have been left squirming,as no reshuffle is in sight despite the current government’s term entering its last year. The Hooda faction is also refusing to cede an inch and has condemned all criticism of regional bias.

Hooda’s detractors’ grievances stem from what they term as Rohtak-Jhajjar centric development. Rohtak is Hooda’s hometown and Jhajjar forms part of the Rohtak Lok Sabha constituency represented by his son Deepender Hooda. The detractors also allege that they have nothing to show as the state enters the poll year in 2014. The reason: Hooda has not approved development work in their regions. The CM,however,has the backing of the Congress high command. This has only led to his rivals resorting to public display of anger.

Gurgaon MP Rao Inderjit,one of Hooda’s most vocal opponents,said: “The redressal mechanism for agitated members has failed miserably. Everybody is panicking as the time has come to answer the public; so they are revolting. I have been doing this for the last four years and after having lost all hope,have formed the Haryana Insaf Manch to go to the public.” Panipat MLA Balbir Pal Shah,who has resigned,added: “No work has been done in my constituency,as the government has been concentrating only on CM’s areas. We have earned our place with a great difficulty and not through sycophancy.”

Two other staunch supporters of Union Minister for Social Welfare and Empowerment Kumari Selja — Rajpal Bhukhri and Naresh Selvel — have also threatened to resign if things did not change. Sources said all are planning to approach the party high command for a hearing.

Meanwhile,Hooda’s cabinet has initiated efforts to counter the regional bias claims. A group of MLAs issued a joint statement denying the charge on Tuesday. To prove their point,they released a list of the development works taken up in their constituencies (see box). “Certain Opposition parties and some vested interests in the party are unfortunately attempting to divide the state on parochial grounds of regionalism. Those talking about discrimination with northern region of Haryana are clearly ill-informed…,” the statement reads.

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