With canvassing for the October 21 Assembly polls in Haryana entering the last lap, the Bharatiya Janata Party has intensified its campaign especially in former Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda’s citadel Rohtak and surrounding areas. Campaigning in Haryana comes to end on October 19.
Hooda is a four-time Member of Parliament from Rohtak. His son Deepender Hooda too represented the constituency thrice in Lok Sabha. Hooda had also been a four-time MLA from Garhi Sampla-Kiloi assembly segment in Rohtak parliamentary constituency. He is seeking a re-election from Garhi Sampla-Kiloi.
Both Hooda and Deepender lost May Lok Sabha polls, from Sonipat and Rohtak, respectively and BJP is leaving no stone unturned to ensure that the two-time chief minister loses from Garhi Sampla-Kiloi from where BJP has fielded INLD’s turncoat Satish Nandal.
Several union ministers and Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar have held public rallies in Garhi Sampla-Kiloi, Rohtak and surrounding areas. In all these rallies, Hooda has remained on top of BJP ministers’ attack.
Meanwhile, BJP Thursday announced that Prime Minister Narendra Modi will hold two more rallies in addition to the already scheduled four.
While Modi launched the poll-campaign for BJP in state by holding a rally in Rohtak on September 8, he was supposed to address three more – in Ballabhgarh on October 14, in Kurukshetra and Charkhi Dadri on October 16 and in Hisar on October 18. BJP Thursday said Modi will be holding at least two additional rallies – one in Gohana of Sonipat (about 30 kms from Hooda’s constituency) on October 18 and another in Ellenabad of Sirsa district, which is considered Indian National Lok Dal’s stronghold. INLD secretary general Abhay Chautala is contesting from Ellenabad.
Hooda got a good response from the people of his constituency when he campaigned in Garhi Sampla-Kiloi Wednesday. On Thursday, Khattar and former Union Minister Birender Singh lashed out at Hooda in his constituency, attacking the former CM in their addresses and calling him a “synonym of corruption”.
About 20 kms from Garhi Sampla-Kiloi in Rohtak, two union ministers – Minister for women and child development Smriti Irani and Law Minister Ravishankar Prasad – addressed separate public rallies and press conferences. “Coming to Rohtak and not speaking of the corruption of former Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda is not possible,” Prasad said addressing the media and elaborately mentioning about alleged scams, including Manesar land scam, Gurgaon land scam and AJL plot allotment during Hooda’s tenure as Haryana’s CM.
Prasad also attacked Hooda by elaborating the controversial DLF-Robert Vadra land deal. He also spoke at length about abrogation of Article 370 and how it impacts Haryana since a large number of people from Haryana join armed forces of the country.
Irani campaigned for BJP nominee from Rohtak assembly segment, Manish Grover. She too attacked Hooda by accusing him of favouring “Damaad ji” referring to Robert Vadra, the son-in-law of Congress interim president Sonia Gandhi. “Haryana ke log mehnat se paisa kamaana chaahte hain naa ki aisa paisa jo logon se lootkar damaad ko diya gaya ho (People of Haryana want to earn honest money by doing hard work, and not the money that is looted from the people and given to son-in-law),” she said.
Ambala MP Rattan Lal Kataria too addressed a public meeting in Garhi Sampla-Kiloi Thursday and lashed out at Hooda. A day ago, Union Civil Aviation minister Hardeep Singh Puri had also addressed media in Rohtak and claimed that “Haryana is the state with fastest growth in last five years” adding that “while Congress spent Rs 1.5 lakh crore in its 10 years in Haryana, BJP had spent Rs 4.7 lakh crore during its five year tenure”.
The Congress, meanwhile, claimed that the BJP was in a state of panic. “The kind of response that Congress is getting across the state is overwhelming and beyond our expectations. The bubble of BJP’s slogan – Ab ki baar 75 paar – has already burst. I am sure that Congress is going to form the next government in Haryana,” Hooda said.