The Baroda bypoll will be “a referendum on the performance of the Haryana government”, senior Congress leader Bhupinder Singh Hooda Thursday, said while challenging Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar to contest against him from the Assembly constituency.
“Baroda’s election will decide the future of Haryana politics as win for the Congress here would shake the foundations of the BJP-JJP government in the state,” Hooda, the Leader of Opposition, said.
Referring to the fallout of the Meham byelection in 1990, Hooda said that “election to even one seat” has the ability to overthrow a government. “Just as the Chautala government was ousted from power after Meham, the BJP-JJP government would meet a similar fate after Baroda byelections,” he said while addressing reporters in Sonipat.
“This government has ruined Haryana in six years. The state that was number one in investment and development indicators is now number one in crime and unemployment. Today, Haryana’s youth, workers, businessmen, poor laborers and farmers sliding into hopelessness. In this election, the people of the state will pass a no confidence motion against the government,” Hooda added.
The former chief minister said that farmers and youth were hit hardest by the policies of the government and while farmers are out on the streets, the condition of the youth is similar as Haryana now has among the highest unemployment rates in the country. “Poorest of the poor have been left to fend for themselves as the BJP shut down welfare schemes like the Rs 91,000-house building support scheme, 100 yards plot to the poor and the Dal-Roti scheme started during the Congress government, besides reducing budgets for Ambedkar scholarship scheme. Reduced budgets for MGNREGA have only added to the misery of the poorest of the poor,” he added.
Hooda also elaborated the works that were carried out in Baroda and neighbouring areas during his 10-year tenure as CM.
Challenging Khattar, Hooda said, “The CM claims to have done many development works in Baroda during six years. If he is so confident, he should accept my challenge of contesting from Baroda. If the CM agrees, then I too am ready to contest against him. But the CM will not do it because he knows that for six years his government has ignored Baroda. It seems that the BJP government also refused to consider Baroda as a part of Haryana”.
Kicking off the campaign for the bypoll, Hooda announced that after winning Baroda, he would launch a state-wide tour against three anti-farmer laws passed by the government.
“Under no circumstances will we allow anti-farmer laws to be implemented in Haryana. If the government wants to implement these laws, there is only one way – add provision that guarantees MSP to the farmer,” Hooda said.
He also shared the draft of the Contract Farming Act enacted in 2007 during his tenure, with the media. He pointed out that it was clearly written in the draft that there could be no contract with the farmer for less than the MSP. “Various provisions were added keeping in mind the rights and interests of farmers, including bank guarantee. But there is no such provision in the new contract farming law,” he added.
Hooda also asked the state government to clarify if the contract farming system implemented on by the Congress government in 2007 is applicable today because new agricultural laws of the central government cannot be implemented in Haryana without removing it.
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