Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda seems to have finally shifted into the poll gear. With both Lok Sabha elections and state Assembly elections scheduled next year,Hooda has finally made long held appointments of various chairpersons of boards and corporations.
However,while making the appointments,he did not forget to keep his within party detractors at bay and rewarded his own men with plum posts. The appointments have been made after deliberations with the Congress high command. Though Hooda detractors also met the high command and accused him of regional bias yet it does not seem to have any impact on the appointments.
Ironically,these appointments have been made after the Comptroller and Auditor General report slammed the government for its failure in curtailing the losses of the public sectors units. The Congress unit in the state is faced with severe factionalism and even the ruling group was also disturbed over delay in the postings. With the appointments,Hooda has ensured that the resentment is curbed to an extent and his flock remains together. Majority of party leaders whom the high command called for parleys in Delhi recently emphasized that party MLAs should be given their right before the elections or it will have its adverse impact on the enthusiasm of the leaders. Hooda had held back these appointments successfully for the past four years.
This has also sparked possibilities of expansion of the council of Ministers,which has three vacant seats. Hooda did not replace his OP Jain and Gopal Goyal Kanda after they had to resign following their names cropping up in different criminal cases. Jain had to resign after his name alongwith that of Chief Parliamentary Secretary Zile Ram Sharma figured in the murder case of a Karnal sarpanch. Kanda is currently in jail in the Geetika Sharma suicide case.
The postings has clear mark of party vice-president Rahul Gandhi whose hand picked man Anil Dhantori has been made chairman of Bureau of Public Enterprises. Hooda has given four MLAs the coveted posts,which included Sumita Singh,Zarnail Singh and Ram Niwas Ghorilla. Zarnail has been given the reward for snatching the Ratia Vidhan Sabha seat from the Indian National Lok Dal.
Since the list lacked so many big names who would have been given the post of privilege,speculations are that the cabinet expansion may be on the cards. The appointments are also likely to infuriate the warring factions of the party as no supporter of Union Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment Kumari Selja has found a place in it. The Union Minister had recently briefed the party high command regarding the regional bias of the Chief Minister and Gurgaon MP Rao Inderjit then formed the Haryana Insaf Manch and announced to take in like-minded people from all the parties in the Manch to ensure equitable development of the state. He also charged Hooda with regional bias.
But nothing could prevent Chief Minister Hooda from having his own go while making crucial appointments. Many senior leaders of the party including Venod Sharma,Anand Singh Dangi,Raghuvir Singh Kadin and Sampt Singh are still kept in waiting for adjustment. All of them are known for their proximity to the Chief Minister.