A day after AICC general secretary Ghulam Nabi Azad declared a planning and management committee constituted by state party president Ashok Tanwar “invalid”, Sudesh Kumar Aggarwal, convenor of the committee appointed by Tanwar, lashed out at Haryana Congress leaders Monday.
Senior Haryana Congress leaders did not attend the committee’s first meeting in New Delhi on Monday.
“I am a very ruthless person. Jo raaste mein aayega, hata diya jayega (whoever comes in the way shall be set aside),” said Aggarwal while speaking to The Indian Express.
The conflict comes at a time when the Haryana Congress is suffering from intense infighting in the run-up to Vidhan Sabha polls scheduled in October.
In a meeting of the Haryana coordination committee — chaired by Azad — held last month in New Delhi, Tanwar had had heated arguments with other senior Congress leaders. “Mere ko agar khatam karna hai, toh mujhe goli maar do (If you want to finish me, then just shoot me),” he had allegedly said before walking out at a time when several senior leaders have been seeking his resignation.
A multi-millionaire industrialist, Aggarwal is settled in Dubai since 1975 and had contested three polls in Haryana as part of his Samast Bhartiya Party. He lost all three and merged the SBP with Congress on March 20 this year in the presence of AICC general secretary Mukul Wasnik, Bhupinder Hooda, Kiran Choudhry and Tanwar.
Constituted for preparing a manifesto and identifying candidates for Vidhan Sabha polls, Tanwar changed the committee’s name to “planning and management group” on Monday evening.
“First of all, you do not recognise him (Tanwar) as the PCC president. For five years, you have been pulling his leg seeking his resignation. When he does something, can we expect them (Tanwar’s rival camp) to say something positive? Nothing. They have to say wrong things in all circumstances. Whatever we do, they have to criticise just for the sake of criticising,” Aggarwal told this newspaper.
“They should first introspect on what they have done or what they are doing. Bhupinder Singh Hooda was appointed chairman of the 16-member coordination committee before Lok Sabha polls. What did this coordination committee do in Lok Sabha polls? What has this coordination committee done in last one and a half months for assembly polls? They are defunct. They are not holding any meeting. They are fighting. They are only going to the AICC asking for the resignation of the state president. Why don’t they work hand in hand with the state president? What is the problem?” he asked.
On the infighting, he said, “Planning is the first requirement to be successful. We shall do proper planning and put it in execution mode. Whoever comes in the way shall be pushed aside, whoever they may be). I am a very ruthless person in these matters. Either I will go or I will set it right.”
Asked if he would require AICC’s backing for removing anyone from the party, Aggarwal said, “I do not want to remove anybody. I will do my job with X person or Y person. Why do I need to remove anybody? I just want to do the job. Anybody who comes in our way, we shall find an alternative for that person…AICC backing will automatically come, if you are moving in the right direction.”
Commenting on Tanwar not taking prior approval from AICC for constituting the “planning and management committee”, Aggarwal said, “The question of AICC not giving approval for the committee does not arise since the HPCC president never sought it. He (Tanwar) never applied for AICC’s approval. He formed the committee to test it’s functioning before approaching AICC for approval. There is no point approaching AICC first when the committee has not functioned properly. But the vested elements made a mess of it. This is the problem in Congress.”