HARYANA FINANCE Minister Captain Abhimanyu on Sunday Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar is “our captain for Assembly polls”.
During an informal chat with a select group of journalists at his residence, Abhimanyu said the BJP had not decided a leader for the 2014 state Assembly polls, but has taken a call this time. “Manohar ji has demonstratively established his administrative and political leadership in the past five years,” said Abhimanyu, who was seen as one of the probables for the chief minister’s post in BJP during the 2014 Assembly polls.
“The people had changed the government in 2014 but we have changed the system here under the leadership of Manohar ji,” the finance minister said, adding that they have worked as a team while opponents could not take care of their family and parties. He cited “intense political infighting” in the Chautala family which resulted in a split in the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD).
Captain Abhimanyu also referred to alleged infighting in Congress and a clash between former Haryana Congress president Ashok Tanwar and supporters of former Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda, which allegedly took place in New Delhi in 2016. Tanwar had received injuries in the clash and an FIR was also lodged. “Even after being CM for ten years, the state party president was assaulted. This shows how hungry these people are for power,” said Abhimanyu.
He further said that Tanwar, who was removed from the post of Haryana Congress chief recently, was not a dynast but the politics of dynasty is back in Congress with the elevation of Selja and former chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda as state Congress chief and CLP leader respectively. Hooda’s father was a minister in joint Punjab while his grandfather had held the post of district Congress president. Hooda’s son Deepender is a three-time MP but lost in the recent parliamentary polls from Rohtak by a thin margin. Selja’s father Dalbir Singh had also held posts like that of Union minister and state Congress president.
“This time, Haryana wants to get rid of politics of dynasty, caste and region,” said Abhimanyu. Asked about instances of dynastic politics in BJP, like those of Rajya MP Birender Singh and Union Minister Rao Inderjit Singh, Abhimanyu said he “would not like to go in deep but there is a thin line”. “There are aspects which should be kept in mind like who is leading the party and whether the politics (of dynasty) is being allowed to dominate. Birender Singh had resigned before BJP Lok Sabha ticket to his son but Hooda did not resign (after Congress ticket to his son).”
Abhimanyu, who is a senior BJP leader, said that the party would contest Assembly polls on the issue of transparency, good governance and inclusive growth. Asked whether the violence which took place during the Jat reservation agitation in February 2016 will be an issue during the polls, the finance minister said that the people who had witnessed that storm can’t forget it.