BJP president Amit Shah on Wednesday arrived in Rohtak, the stronghold of former Haryana CM Bhupinder Singh Hooda, on a three-day tour. A year-and-a-half ago, Rohtak had seen unprecedented violence during Jat quota stir.
Out of 10, Rohtak is the lone Lok Sabha seat in Haryana won by Congress in 2014. Hooda’s son Deepender Hooda had won the seat despite a Modi wave in the country. To welcome Shah, ministers along with their hundreds of supporters lined up on the National Highway leading to Rohtak from New Delhi. “Congress is losing one stronghold after another in the country. Sooner or later, they will lose this (Rohtak) too,” said Rajiv Jain, vice-president of BJP’s Haryana unit.
However, Hooda said, “They (BJP) have their state office in Rohtak and their national president is visiting all states in the country. They are doing their work, we are doing ours.”
Meanwhile, leaders of All India Jat Aarakashan Sangharash Samiti (AIJSS), which has been running an agitation to press their demand for Jat quota in government jobs, had urged the state BJP leaders to arrange a meeting with Shah, but got a cold response. “We have not received any response from the BJP leaders as of now,” Yashpal Malik, president of the samiti, said.
According to sources, no issue related to the violence or Jat quota was raised during the first session of the BJP meeting attended by party MLAs and district level office-bearers. Haryana Backward Classes and Economically Weaker Section Kalyan Nigam’s chairman Ram Chander Jangra suggested to ensure representation of downtrodden communities in the party’s core group and the election committee. A woman khap leader from Hisar district, Sudesh Chaudhary, reportedly said in the meeting that police were helping (the mafia) in the business of liquor and drugs. When contracted, Chaudhary said, “ Yes, I had raised the issue. The CM has asked the Finance Minister to look into the matter.”
Union Minister Birender Singh’s wife and BJP MLA from Uchana Kalan constituency of Haryana, Prem Lata, demanded more representation for Jats in the party organisation to woo the community members. She said she raised the issue in the meeting of BJP MLAs and ministers chaired by Shah. “In response, Shah said they would take care of this and they would try to associate the Jats with the party in a better way,” she said.
To get a first-hand feedback ahead of Shah’s visit, CM ML Khattar ventured out early Wednesday morning in Rohtak without his security cover to interact with the youth to seek their opinion and suggestions on “good governance”. Khattar left his place at 6 am and reached the Sports Complex in Rohtak unannounced and met budding sportspersons practising there to enquire about the facilities being provided to them. Apparently satisfied with the outcome of his early morning effort, the CM said, “I am happy that people are getting the benefit of various welfare schemes and programmes right at their doorstep, and are feeling satisfied.”