It will be a high-voltage political-action packed Sunday as an incumbent and a former chief minister launch their respective campaigns in poll-bound Haryana.
While Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar will start a 2,100-km road journey (rath yatra) covering the length and breadth of Haryana, his predecessor and senior Congress leader Bhupinder Singh Hooda will be holding a show of strength in Rohtak, his home turf, in what is being seen as sending out a wake-up call to the party high command to acknowledge his stature.
Battle of survival for Congress
Haryana goes to polls in October this year. While BJP aims to increase its 2014 tally of 47 seats to over 75 in the 90-member House, it may turn into a battle of survival for the Congress, which is struggling to regain ground it has lost in state and nationally.
While Khattar has named his journey the “Aashirwad Yatra”, Hooda has termed his political show of strength “Parivartan Rally”.
State BJP president Subhash Barala said, “The journey will be carried out in five phases, each phase of three days. The yatra will commence from Kalka and conclude in Rohtak on September 8. The CM will pay obeisance at Kali Mata temple and then begin his journey from Kalka Mandi in presence of Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh. Several other Union ministers apart from all the state cabinet ministers will remain present.”
PM Narendra Modi is expected to address a rally in Rohtak on September 8.
Hooda will hold what his supporters expect will be a mega show of strength, amid speculation of parting ways with the Congress and joining hands with another national party or floating a new political outfit.
Although Hooda had vehemently been denying such speculation, other Congress leaders of his camp had been throwing ample hints suggesting that something is brewing.