Updated: September 22, 2021 12:15:33 pm
Amid the turmoil in the Punjab Congress, the Haryana Congress’s Legislature Party (CLP) leader Bhupinder Singh Hooda has called a CLP meeting in Chandigarh Wednesday.
Party insiders told The Indian Express that Hooda has called the CLP meeting aiming to have a show of strength in an apparent message to the party high command that the majority of party’s MLAs in Haryana are on his side.
In the 90-member Haryana Vidhan Sabha, the current strength is 89 members after the INLD’s lone MLA Abhay Chautala vacated his Ellanabad seat expressing solidarity with the ongoing farmers’ agitation. The Congress has a current strength of 31 MLAs, the BJP has 40, and the JJP has 10. There are seven Independents and one MLA of the Haryana Lokhit Party.
Hooda is also the Leader of Opposition in the Haryana Vidhan Sabha.
As per the formal agenda, the Congress will be discussing primarily the ongoing farmers’ agitation against the three Central farm laws, besides other issues of public importance, including a hike in prices of essential commodities, deteriorating law and order, and hike in fuel prices.
One of the Congress MLAs told The Indian Express that “discussion shall, of course, be held on the prevailing political scenario in the region”.
The CLP meeting will be held at Hooda’s residence in Sector 7. He is scheduled to stay in Chandigarh for three days. Although MLAs have been called for this meeting, no specific agenda has been given to them.
Another Congress MLA, however, told The Indian Express that “the CLP meeting was called even before the leadership change happened in Punjab. It is a general meeting that CLP leader calls once in a while to interact with all the MLAs and discuss various ongoing issues and party’s strategies. There is no political agenda behind it.”
Before the 2019 Assembly elections, Hooda too had launched a rebellion against his party when he was not declared the CM nominee by the party high command.
Addressing a mega rally in Rohtak, Hooda had declared himself as the CM nominee “with or without” his party. He had attacked Congress over its stand on the nullification of Article 370. At that rally, Hooda had also announced a 25-member committee comprising 12 of the Congress’s then 17 MLAs and 13 other leaders to deliberate on his next move.
However, his equations with the party high command had considerably improved subsequently when the party emerged as the second-largest with nine MLAs shorter than the BJP in the 2019 Assembly polls.
Recently, Hooda’s son Deepender Hooda, who is also a Rajya Sabha MP, has been nominated by the AICC as one of the members of the party’s screening committee for the forthcoming Assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh. Jitender Singh and Varsha Gaikwad are the other two members in the AICC screening committee. Priyanka Gandhi, Ajay Kumar Lallu, Aradhana Misra Mona and all AICC secretaries incharge of Uttar Pradesh have been nominated as ex-officio members of the screening committee.
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