Updated: September 4, 2019 5:42:05 pm
Ahead of the Haryana Assembly elections, the Congress Wednesday appointed Rajya Sabha MP Kumari Selja as the party’s state chief while former chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda has been made Congress Legislature Party (CLP) leader and chairman of the party election committee.
Selja will replace Haryana Pradesh Congress Committee chief Ashok Tanwar. Tanwar was given the top post by Congress leader Rahul Gandhi in 2014. Haryana affairs in-charge Ghulam Nabi Azad made the announcement at a press briefing.
. @kumari_selja जी हरियाणा प्रदेश कांग्रेस की अध्यक्ष होंगी और पूर्व मुख्यमंत्री श्री @BhupinderSHooda जी सीएलपी लीडर और विधानसभा में विपक्ष के नेता के साथ कांग्रेस चुनाव प्रबंधन समिति के चेयरमैन भी होंगे : गुलाम नबी आजाद
— Congress Live (@INCIndiaLive) September 4, 2019
Selja, a four-time MP – twice from Sirsa and twice from Ambala – lost this year’s Lok Sabha elections from the Ambala constituency. She is the daughter of four-time Sirsa MP Dalbir Singh and was a union minister during the UPA government.
Her appointment comes amid reports of a rift in the party’s state unit, with former chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda and his loyalists demanding Tanwar’s removal from the party’s top post for three years now.
Hooda’s detractors also lobbied in Delhi against Tanwar, requesting party high command that even if Tanwar is replaced, the new state Congress chief must be a “non-Jat”.
Last week, Hooda met interim Congress president Sonia Gandhi in the presence of party’s Haryana affairs in-charge Ghulam Nabi Azad to convince the party’s top leadership to replace Tanwar.
While Hooda and his aides have been demanding that Hooda should replace Tanwar, the Congress high command has not adhered to their demands.
Ultimately, Hooda had held a huge rally at Rohtak on August 18 in which he had formed a committee consisting over 30 members. Later, the number of members was increased to over 100 to give representation to each part of the state.
At a meeting held Tuesday, the former CM’s loyalists left the decision over his next political move to Hooda himself. The Hooda faction has support of 13 MLAs out of 17 Congress MLAs in the 90-member Assembly.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines
- The Indian Express website has been rated GREEN for its credibility and trustworthiness by Newsguard, a global service that rates news sources for their journalistic standards.