Hours after former Haryana CM Bhupinder Singh Hooda termed the INLD protest a “political drama” and a fixed match between the main opposition party and the ruling BJP, Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar invited the Congress leader to his residence to discuss the contentious issue.
“Probably, there is a hearing of the case in the Supreme Court tomorrow. The Chief Minister had telephoned me to discuss different aspects of the issue including the pros and cons,” Hooda said after the meeting.
He added: “I told the Chief Minister that the state should put pressure on the central government to ensure early completion of SYL canal. No other issue except SYL was discussed in our meeting.” However, Leader of the Opposition Abhay Singh Chautala expressed surprise over the meeting between Hooda and Khattar.
“Hooda might have gone to meet Khattar for some personal work. Why would Khattar call him? Even, if the Chief Minister wants to discuss the SYL issue, he would have called the Congress Legislature Party (CLP) leader or Haryana Congress president,” said Chautala.
Attacking on Hooda, the INLD leader further said, “ He (Hooda) was terming us (INLD) as B team of the BJP. But now, it seems that he (Hooda) is hand-in-glove with the Chief Minister.”
Haryana BJP spokesperson and a close aide of the Chief Minister, Jawahar Yadav, said, “It was probably a courtesy call between a Chief Minister and a former Chief Minister.” Attacking the INLD and the Haryana government earlier in the day, Hooda had said: “There was a match-fixing at Haryana border today. There were more policemen than INLD workers on the road. How can the roads be blocked with 2-3 cars, tractors and few workers? People of Haryana have understood this game. INLD is not going to get any response from the people of the state anymore.”
He added: “Few months back, they (INLD leaders) had gone to dig the SYL canal but returned after digging a small portion of a road. The INLD is a sinking ship and it is trying to gain ground by these tactics. The people of the state had given it the mandate to play role of main opposition party, but it is behaving like the main supporter of the ruling BJP.”
Attacking on the BJP-led central government, the former Chief Minister said, “The Centre is not taking any step to complete the construction of the canal even after the SC giving this responsibility to it.”
Hooda also announced that from now onward, their Kisan Panchayat would be called as Kisan-Majdoor Panchayat as “not only farmers but even farm labourers are facing tough times because of the anti-poor policies of the BJP government”. He added that the next panchayat would be held at Yamunanagar on July 16.