With Haryana Assembly polls scheduled in October, Haryana Congress has failed to put its house in order with its senior leadership turning rebel.
Former Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda and his loyalists comprising 13 current Congress MLAs of Haryana and various former MPs, MLAs and senior leaders of Congress — who form part of the 30-member committee announced by Hooda in his August 18 rally at Rohtak — will hold the panel’s first meeting at Hooda’s residence in New Delhi on September 3.
The announcement comes two days after Hooda met Sonia Gandhi in the presence of party’s Haryana affairs in-charge Ghulam Nabi Azad. Party sources disclosed that despite conveying his point to the party’s interim president, Hooda failed to convince Sonia Gandhi on replacing Haryana Pradesh Congress Committee chief Ashok Tanwar. For the last three years, Hooda and his loyalists have been demanding Tanwar’s removal from party chief’s post.
While Hooda and his aides have been demanding that Hooda should replace Tanwar, party high command has not adhered to their demands. Hooda’s detractors are also lobbying in Delhi against him and requesting party high command that even if Tanwar is replaced, the new state Congress chief must be a “non-Jat”.
“The party high command knows it very well that giving the command of the party to a Jat leader will jeopardise party’s prospects in upcoming Vidhan Sabha polls. It has to be a non-Jat only,” a senior Haryana Congress leader told The Indian Express.
Last month at the Rohtak rally, while declaring himself as the Chief Ministerial candidate “with or without Congress” and announcing his manifesto, Hooda had said that he would base his future course of action on the recommendation of the 30-member committee.
“The committee shall hold its meeting in New Delhi at Bhupinder Singh Hooda’s residence on September 3”, said Udai Bhan, committee’s convener. Haryana’s former Finance minister H S Chatha and a known Hooda loyalist is heading the committee.
While Congress high command and its state leadership is struggling to convince each other on deciding party’s hierarchy in the state, ruling BJP is going full throttle in its campaigning across the state.
Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar is on a state-wide tour, wooing electorate citing his government’s achievements and inviting people to Rohtak on September 8 for PM Narendra Modi’s rally.
Haryana BJP on Sunday launched its registration programme for its Panna Pramukhs, from Palwal Assembly constituency. The registration drive will continue till September 3 and Panna Pramukhs of all the polling booths in 90-Assembly segments of the state will be registered with their pictures, names and contact numbers in the ruling party’s records. The state BJP has launched this drive to ensure massive turnout at its Rohtak rally on September 8.